Details emerge of new Palm smart phone

Details of Palm’s new smart phone are emerging ahead of the product’s launch on Wednesday.

The product is called Palm 500, uses a standard version of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.0 operating system, runs on 3G (third-generation) mobile phone networks and will be sold by Vodafone Group PLC, according to details of a scanned advertisement from the Dutch subsidiary of The Phone Shop, which has appeared on numerous blogs. Vodafone had an exclusive agreement for the Palm Treo 750v.

A source familiar with the launch confirmed details in the ad, including the name of the product, OS and Vodafone as a carrier partner, but declined to provide further details ahead of the launch.

The Treo 500 appears to be targeted at the consumer market, equipped with the Windows Mobile 6 Standard OS, which doesn’t support touch-screen functionality. The lack of this feature and possibly some others could mean that the new smart phone will be priced lower than the Palm Treo 750v, which at €500 (US$689) has been targeted at business users.

In an interview on Monday, Jens Schulte-Bokum, head of the global terminal division at Vodafone, declined to comment on whether Vodafone planned to offer the new Palm smart phone in addition to the Palm Treo 750v, saying only that the operator is “still in discussions with Palm to refresh that line-up.”

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