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The Verdict

So there you have it. Sorta makes you wonder if it was all worth it, at least for SanDisk. To their credit, they did persevere and deliver on their (downsized) promise to support PalmOS 5.X devices. And the resulting product is about the same in performance and features as the PocketPC-only product that has been available for the past eight months or so.

But consider the following statement that I received from palmOne's Director of Public Relations Jim Christensen when I asked for their side of the story as to why only the Zire71 is supported in SanDisk's product:

Following market and development-cost analysis, palmOne plans to introduce a Wi-Fi card later in the year that will be applicable to its Zire 72 and Tungsten T3 handhelds, but no other current products.

This decision reflects the fact that these solutions require very tight integration between hardware, firmware and custom software, as well as access to propriety technologies for the level of tight integration necessary to give the customer an excellent experience.

The availability of a Wi-Fi card from SanDisk for the Zire 71 is a good example of a third-party developer innovating to meet additional customer requests.

So you heard it here first, folks: the ability to add Wi-Fi to Zire 72's and Tungsten T3's is coming later this year from the palmOne itself. Something tells me that the folks at SanDisk would have preferred something else as a holiday gift from palmOne this year.

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