Hours before Palm founder Jeff Hawkins was scheduled to announce the company’s "new mobile device" at this year’s D: All Things Digital conference, a premature press release introducing the long-rumored Foleo hit Google Reader courtesy of the Palm RSS feed. Titled "Palm Advances Mobile Computing with Its First Mobile Companion Product," the release includes several links to photos and web pages that are expected to go live later today.
The most compelling one looks to be www.palm.com/seefoleo, which I assume will confirm and expand upon the details revealed in the release such as the device’s large screen and full-sized keyboard, reliance on an existing smartphone, 5-hour battery life, and post-rebate $499 price tag. According to Hawkins, the Foleo "sets a new standard in simplicity" by bridging the gap between shrinking smartphones (soon to be "the most prevalent personal computers on the planet") and desktop productivity.
Assuming it’s still cached, you can subscribe to Palm’s feed and read the press release in full through Google Reader (and presumably other RSS aggregators).
You can also read it here or just continue scrolling.
Palm Advances Mobile Computing with Its First Mobile Companion Product
Foleo has a large screen and full size keyboard to view and edit email and office documents. Edits made on Foleo automatically are reflected on its paired smartphone and vice versa.
Foleo and its paired smartphone stay synchronized throughout the day or at the touch of a button.
Foleo turns on and off instantly, features fast navigation, a compact and elegant design, and a battery that lasts up to five hours of use.
U.S. availability for Foleo begins this summer with pricing expected to be $499 after an introductory $100 rebate.
Built on an open Linux-based platform,Palm hopes to replicate earlier success with developers by drawing a large community to create new applications that will extend the mobile companion’s capabilities. Already, Palm has partnered with DataViz and Opera Software, demonstrating ease with which applications can be ported to the Palm Foleo.
Quotes Attributable to Jeff Hawkins, founder of Palm, Inc. and the visionary behind the Foleo’s concept and definition
"Foleo is the most exciting product I have ever worked on. Smartphones will be the most prevalent personal computers on the planet, ultimately able to do everything that desktop computers can do. However, there are times when people need a large screen and full-size keyboard. As smartphones get smaller, this need increases. The Foleo completes the picture creating a mobile-computing system that sets a new standard in simplicity."
Quotes Attributable to Ed Colligan, president and chief executive officer of Palm Inc.
“As we did with the PalmPilot more than a decade ago, and more recently with the Treo smartphone, Palm is driving innovation and capitalizing on emerging opportunities in mobile computing, a market full of potential. The Palm Foleo represents our first product in a new line of solutions that will redefine how people work while away from their desks. It starts today with a focus on wireless email, and we expect the Foleo to grow in features and expand its capabilities as the platform grows.”
Information on Foleo | Notification on Foleo Availability | Opera Software | DataViz | Palm Retail Stores and Palm online stores | Phones Compatible with Foleo | Video and Images Available on Business Wire
Not quite the "UMPC" I expected, but there’s still a handful of hours before Hawkins takes the stage. Unfortunately, my sleep schedule and Hawaii’s time zone both assure me that I’ll miss the official announcement and subsequent coverage frenzy, but I’ll stitch something together later.[via Treo Central]