While the Palm Foleo died on the vine, the concept may live on. I-Mate, makers of many fine Windows Mobile based smart phones is rumored to be working on a “shell” to go with their new Ultimate line. While the new shell would not contain any processor or memory of it’s own, it would feature a 1024x768 screen and a full sized keyboard to act as a dock for the smart phone. It is still unknown if the shell would feature batteries to increase runtime, but if it does that could be a killer feature for todays power-hungry HSDPA chipsets.
This seems like it would be a better approach than the Foleo. It would be cheaper, provide similar functionality, and allow a user to select which form factor they want (laptop vs. cellphone) at any given time as simply as clicking the phone into the larger frame. If this comes to market in a timely manner and offers a good user experience it could signal a new style of cellphone based computing—and a step into the “world of tomorrow”.
Palm CEO Ed Colligan has announced that the Foleo is to be no more. He says that his company will concentrate more of its efforts on their next generation platform and the smartphones that will be a part of it. He said that
when they work on Foleo II it will be on that same platform rather than a separate one.
Although it is costing Palm about a $10 million loss, Colligan mentioned that it was a small price to pay to
move forward. We recall wondering why the Foleo was larger than the device it was created to work with, so perhaps with this decision Palm has finally created a kind of symmetry in their part of the technological world.
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