(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| IBM Japan Releases PDA with Palm OS Japanese Version
March 1, 1999 (TOKYO) -- IBM Japan Ltd. released a pocket-size personal
digital assistant (PDA) called WorkPad, which uses the Palm operating
system ver.3 Japanese version of 3Com Japan K.K.
|The new operating system was released by 3Com Japan on Feb. 3.
The WorkPad device weighs 162g and measures 12cm (high)
by 8cm (wide) by 1.8cm (thick). It is designed as a portable terminal
that can transfer personal information management (PIM) data managed
by a PC, including addresses, schedule management and memos.
"If a Windows PC is compared to an automobile, WorkPad is like a bicycle,
which anybody can ride without a license, and for this reason the number
of users will increase, leading to more developers," said Kazufu Hotta,
director of IBM Japan.
Already, PDAs are quite popular in Japan, but the new device has the
potential to stimulate the PDA market, Hotta noted.
Hotta refrained from giving a projected shipping volume. "In the current
market it is difficult to predict what will become a popular product
like Pocket Board," he said.
Pocket Board is a paging/mailing terminal developed by NTT DoCoMo. (See
IBM Japan's PDA has startup buttons for the schedule, address, "to do"
list and memo. The buttons allow users to start desired software by
pressing the relevant button without turning on the power.
Its liquid-crystal display (LCD) monitor is a touch-panel type. It has
a resolution of 160 x 160 dots with a two-level gray scale. Users enter
data with a touch pen.
It has a serial interface and a capability for infrared data communications.
Also, the new device has a standard cradle device for connecting with
PCs. Additionally, it features HotSync, which automatically starts data
synchronous processing with a PC by placing the unit in the cradle device
and pressing a button.
IBM Japan's new device has a 4MB main memory (standard) and one expansion
slot. Add-on memory is available. The operating system is installed
in a 2MB flash memory.
The power source is two AAA alkaline batteries, and the battery life
is about two months under normal conditions.
The price at IBM PC Direct, IBM Japan's direct service, is 49,900 yen
(US$410), while the retail price is open.
IBM Japan is slated to release a Japanese language version of the latest
Palm series, Palm V, with the latest OS, Palm OS ver. 3.1, which 3Com
Corp. released recently.
� 3Com Develops Palm OS Japanese Version
� 3Com Seeks Top Share with Palm Series in Japan, VP Says
� Mobile Gear Focuses on Communications More Than Multifunctions
(BizTech News Dept.)
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