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Palm to Call Itself PalmOne After Spinoff

August 19, 2003|From Bloomberg News

Palm Inc., the world's biggest maker of hand-held computers, on Monday announced it would change its name to PalmOne Inc. after the company completed a spinoff of its software unit this fall.

The name is meant to convey that the company is a pioneer and focused on customers, the company said. Products will use the brand next year, including those now offered by Handspring Inc. Palm has agreed to buy Handspring, a smaller competitor, to gain a line of mobile phones that double as hand-held organizers.

Milpitas, Calif.-based Palm is spinning off its PalmSource software unit to attract many computer makers to its operating system as Microsoft Corp. did with its Windows software.

"It is critical for Palm to hold its ground while waiting for the launch of Palm OS 6, which is expected in early 2004," said Todd Kort, an analyst for research firm Gartner Inc. Devices with Palm software made up 51.4% of second-quarter shipments of hand-held computers, while Microsoft-based hand-helds accounted for 35.9%, Gartner said.

Palm shares rose 7 cents to $15.26 and Handspring rose 2 cents to 90 cents, both on Nasdaq.

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