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Palm plans new low-end handheld

The handheld maker is preparing a new model for back-to-school shoppers, according to sources and leaked specification sheets.

LONDON--Palm is preparing a new handheld for back-to-school shoppers, according to sources.

The company is set to launch a new low-end handheld called the m125 next week, according to detailed specification sheets leaked to several Web sites.

The device will fulfill Palm's promise to bring a standardized connector for peripherals and an expansion slot to its low-end range, making add-ons designed for the more expensive m500 line compatible with the entry-level products.

Palm would not comment.

One source confirmed that the device had been entered into the product database of a major U.S. retailer in preparation for launch.

The m125 is apparently a replacement for the current low-end m100 and m105 models, which offer a cheaper price and more rugged design than the m500 series aimed at executives.

The m125 is expected to cost $250. Besides Palm's Universal Connector and its Secure Digital expansion slot, the m125 will include a 33MHz Dragonball VZ processor and 8MB of memory, according to sources. It will weigh 6.1 ounces.

U.S. models will feature 2MB of ROM (read-only memory), and those sold on the international market will have 4MB. Like that in the m100 and m105, the ROM is not expected to be upgradeable to future versions of the Palm operating system.

While Palm's Secure Digital slot has so far been used for backup and to store large applications such as dictionaries, it can also add capabilities such as wireless connectivity.

Staff writer Matthew Broersma reported from London.