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Kodak closes cap on cameras for Palm

The camera giant has discontinued its popular PalmPix line, which attached to Palm handhelds, but Palm says another company will release similar cameras this summer.

Camera giant Eastman Kodak has discontinued the PalmPix line of digital cameras that attached to Palm handhelds.

A representative of the camera giant told CNET News.com that the line of cameras, which debuted in 2000, was popular, but said Kodak is now focused on its standalone cameras. Kodak had made PalmPix cameras that attached to the Palm III series, the m100 series and the m500 series of handhelds.

Palm had heavily marketed the Kodak cameras over the years, including a big promotion during the holiday shopping season two years ago.

The handheld maker had also changed the way it designed new handhelds, in part to address concerns from Kodak and others who make handheld accessories. Until the past year, each new Palm model had a different way of connecting to a cradle and add-ons. That meant that add-on makers like Kodak had to develop a new product for each new Palm that came out.

To address that issue, Palm moved to its "universal connector" last year with its m500 series and nearly all models Palm sells now use that same connector.

A Palm representative said that although Kodak is discontinuing its cameras, another company, Spectec Computer, will come out with a line of cameras this summer that plug into the Palm. Also, manufacturers such as Panasonic, Minolta and Kodak make cameras that store images on the same type of Secure Digital removable flash memory that is used in many Palms; that means customers could view digital pictures taken with such a camera on a Palm device.

Andy Brown, an analyst at market research firm IDC, said the move shouldn't have a major impact on Palm, given that the company is increasingly focused on the business market.

"It may cause some consternation among the users who would use that device, but in my opinion the Palm platform has insufficient power and storage to deal with heavy-duty uses like large numbers of pictures, anyway," Brown said.

Matthew Broersma of ZDNet UK contributed to this report.