Palm to unveil new brands Monday

Palm's hardware group on Monday plans to unveil a new brand strategy aimed at bolstering the company's image with both die-hard techies and mainstream consumers.

The handheld maker is set two announce two new brands--Zire and Tungsten--according to sources familiar with the plans. Zire is aimed for the mass market, while Tungsten will be Palm's brand for high-end professionals and gadget fans.

The Milpitas, Calif.-based company plans to offer the new brands as part of its fall lineup, which includes an entry-level Zire model that will sell for $100 and the first Palm OS 5 device, which will carry the Tungsten brand.

The Zire is expected to debut Oct. 7. The OS 5 device and another high-end model that includes wireless data and cell phone capabilities will debut Oct. 28. The hardware unit plans to brief the media on details of its new strategy during a Webcast on Monday morning, hours before it reports quarterly earnings. The handheld maker is also expected to detail progress with a key piece of software that will allow workers access to corporate e-mail using wireless Palm devices such as the i705.

With Zire, Palm hopes to reach a broader market than it has with previous handhelds. The company is expected to expand its distribution outlets beyond electronics and office products stores that have traditionally sold handhelds.

News source: C|net

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