Dell's handheld plans include cell phone, hard drive

Tech Culture

Looks like Dell's Axim handheld line will be seeing some major changes and additions this year, including a hard drive-based device and a cell phone.

Enthusiast site Brighthand has gotten hold of Dell's handheld road map--a timeline of products in development--through the end of 2006. And while full details such as pricing and availability dates weren't included, we're left with a sense of where the handheld industry is going. A Dell representative declined to comment on what she called "rumor and speculation."

We've also heard about the hard drive-based device, but only had one source on the story--we've been hearing about a November release for the device. Dell executives have said it might make sense for the company to offer a smart phone at some point, but the company's not planning to do so anytime soon. According to the road map, it won't be until mid 2006.

Road maps aren't always the definitive word on what a company is going to do, but they do provide a clear indication of what the company is thinking.

The Axim X30 will be discontinued in the coming months but the X50 will be sticking around, according to Brighthand's road map.

These moves mimic those of handheld market share leader PalmOne whose Treo line is very popular and whose LifeDrive line--with hard drive--is expected to come out for $499 in mid-May.

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