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New smart phone model buoys Palm

September 28, 2007|From the Associated Press

Shares of Palm Inc. rose more than 6% Thursday after the maker of smart phones unveiled a trimmer, more-affordable model designed to fight the onslaught of competition and attract more customers.

The Palm Centro is thinner and lighter than its existing Treo cousins. At $99 with a two-year service contract, it also is Palm's most inexpensive smart phone.

Sprint Nextel Corp. will be the exclusive carrier when the product hits the market in mid-October, but Palm expects to expand the offering to other cellular networks after its 90-day exclusive period with Sprint ends.

Over the past year, Palm's pioneering Treo was considered a bulky beast as deep-pocketed rivals trotted out sleek new smart phones that undercut Treos and their $300 price tag.

Palm's stock jumped 97 cents to $16.40.

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