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”.
Pyrofers has posted a how-to on turning a Windows Mobile 5 or Windows Mobile 6 phone with 3G access into a high-speed modem for the iPhone. The whole process seems a little extreme given that you would have to pay for, carry, and keep active a 2nd device at all times, but might be useful if you have a spare Windows Mobile device hanging around and if you can convince your work to pay for an unlimited data account for it. Fair warning - the hack involves registry editing on your Windows Mobile device so proceed at your own risk. As for us, we will likely just wait it out for the iPhone 2.0 (iPhone Extreme?) to come out with 3G internet access built in.
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