An anonymous source has given CliéSource the description of a pair of future Sony handhelds called the NX series. These will have the same form factor as the NR series, including the clamshell shape and built-in keyboard. They will run Palm OS 5 on an Intel XScale processor. Like the NR series, they will use a 320 by 480 screen.
There will be one model in the NX series with a camera and one without. The one with the camera will be capable of taking video in MPEG4 format at 640 by 480. They will have a CompactFlash slot, though this won’t work with memory cards, only Sony-branded 802.11 cards.
It will have a built-in microphone and still have the same MP3 playback ability as the NR series. It will use Sony’s standard HotSync port, the same one used on the current NR series.
On the software side, this source reports that the NX series will ship with a web browser, presumably the one PalmSource announced recently. The built-in apps have been re-written to take advantage of the virtual Graffiti area. It will use the standard application Launcher, which has hi-res+ support, but the user will also have the option of a new view of applications which has been designed to make the device easy to use for first-time handheld buyers.
According to this source, the NX series will be announced next week and will be available at the end of October. The version without the camera will cost USD 500 and the one with it will be USD 600.Written by PalmInfoCenter for PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence.
Palm has been insisting for some time that what’s good for Sony is good for Palm. This may have been true when Sony had 2 percent market share and was generating additional marketing interest in the Palm OS, but now there is a danger that Palm will be eclipsed by its erstwhile partner.
This is the problem which PMN referred to in ‘Palm announces Tungsten, Zire‘ and ‘Palm to release three new models next month‘. Sony can afford to develop more products, at lower cost and with greater access to distribution channels. There is no way Palm can compete with Sony in the consumer market. A comparison of Palm and Sony’s forthcoming OS 5 models confirms this.
Palm must concentrate on a focused range of elegant handhelds for the business market. In the high volume consumer space it will be crushed by Sony and in the smartphones market it will be crushed by any number of tier one and tier two handset vendors.
Originally published by PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence, the subscription-based analysis and insight platform founded by Marek Pawlowski.