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Hi 1Mike:

You wrote:
Thus, the question remains as to whether the Palm platform will play a role in "Smartphones"? Can anyone document an agreement between Palm and one of the wireless device companies?

Nokia is hedging its bets with both Symbian and PALM.

Here's a good CNET article written in October 1999:

From Palm's web site:

Palm Inc. has partnered with world-class companies to collaboratively grow the handheld computing market by delivering innovative mobile solutions. Each of our licensees--Handspring, Nokia, Palm Inc., QUALCOMM, Sony, Symbol Technologies, and TRG Products--is developing products that leverage their strengths to extend the Palm OS® in new directions.

Ironically I found this in Symbian's web site:
Oct 13th 1999
Nokia Press Release
Nokia and Palm Computing ally to develop a new pen-based product category for smart phones

GENEVA - Telecom 99- Oct 13, 1999 - New products will combine wireless voice and data access with mobile information management and handheld organizer capabilities.

Nokia and Palm Computing Inc., a 3Com company, announced today a broad joint development and licensing agreement to create a new pen-based product category. Nokia is licensing the Palm Computing Operating System (Palm OS) so it can implement the user interface and applications to run on the Symbian platform. Resulting devices will run both Palm and Symbian applications. Nokia will introduce its first pen-based products in the American market and subsequently on a worldwide basis. This cooperation will make it possible to deliver to consumers the benefits of pen-based wireless devices with superior ease of use, that integrates telephony with data applications, personal and professional information management and other value-added services.

Says Jorma Ollila, Chairman and CEO of Nokia: "In the emerging Mobile Information Society we anticipate strong demand for various categories of future wireless devices. So far, our handset offering has included phones with keypad input as well as communicators with keyboards. Now we intend to complement our range with products using a pen-based input. In that category, Palm Computing is a leader and has a wide market presence with its current products. Combining Nokia's undisputed expertise in the wireless industry and Symbian's robust and effective platform with Palm Computing's industry-leading application environment and user-interface strengths gives the customers the best solution in this new product category."

"Today's agreement is part of our strategy to make the Palm Computing applications the leading way for people to access and manage the information that is critical to their businesses and to their lives," says Alan Kessler, President of Palm Computing Inc. "This powerful evolution of the Palm Computing applications, enriched with wireless voice, telephony, and increased data access capabilities will combine a new range of communication possibilities with the unique simplicity and wearability for which Palm's products have become synonymous. This is an exciting new growth opportunity for the Palm Economy. It will provide an innovative, flexible foundation for Palm's thousands of developers to expand the mobile information management market into new territories, worldwide."

Consumers of products based on the new solution will benefit from the capabilities provided in Palm products, including access to a library of thousands of personal and professional applications, combined with the advantages of wireless telephony and data access. This offers new applications opportunities to the tens of thousands of Palm and Symbian developers, and generates new wireless services for consumers across the world.

Nokia will contribute the key wireless technologies, including wireless voice communications and telephony applications, new emerging data protocols and IP-based wireless access to enterprise applications. In addition, the products will deliver the advantages of open and global technologies, such as WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) and Bluetooth, both industry initiatives where Nokia is a co-founding member and a key industry developer. The products will support Palm's web clipping technology for wireless access to Internet and intranet content. The technology will be network and protocol independent, allowing implementation of products in the major wireless networks worldwide.

Nokia and Palm Computing are committed to maintain a high level of backward compatibility for current Palm applications, thus ensuring that a majority of existing applications will be supported on this next generation of products. Nokia and Palm Computing expect to disclose information on the development environment and tools during the next 12 months.

Hope this helps.


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