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Palm pledges three new smart phones in 2006

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Palm will unveil three new smart-phone products in 2006 in addition to the already announced Windows Mobile-based Treo 700w, the company's chief said yesterday.

Speaking during a conference following the announcement of the company's Q2 results, CEO Ed Colligan confirmed earlier analyst claims that Palm will offer new smart phones at different price points to the current Treo line-up.

"We'll announce three additional new smart phones during calendar year 2006," said Colligan, adding that they will sport new looks and feature more advanced network support - presumably a reference to 3G and possibly the long-awaited addition of Wi-Fi too.

One of the models has been specifically designed for a major international carrier, Colligan said without naming names. This autumn, Palm opened a European R&D centre to improve the company's links with carriers here, including T-Mobile, Vodafone and Orange.

The 700w was announced in September, and is expected to debut early next year, probably at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Palm also said it will ship BlackBerry Connect for the Treo early in 2006, the company confirmed yesterday.

In November, Caris & Co. analyst Susan Kalla claimed Palm was preparing two new smart-phone designs dubbed 'Lowrider' and 'Hollywood', presumably because they're pitched at low-end and multimedia-oriented markets, respectively. Hollywood is also thought to be a 3G model. She also said Palm was working on the Treo 700p, which observers have taken to be the Palm OS version of the 700w. ®

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