Palm has announced the Australian release of its new mass-market handheld, the Zire. Designed for the first-time purchaser, the focus is on providing basic functionality - date Book, address Book, note Pad and to do's - on a Palm platform for less than $250. The Zire is the lightest weight Palm handheld on the market at 109 grams and the simple polished white and silver design includes a 160 x 160 monochrome screen and removable flip lid. The two-button design is new and the device supports infrared file sharing with PC or Mac as well as being compatible with thousands of software applications.

Palm's release of the Zire is part of a strategy that will see
two distinct sub-brands emerge - the Zire, with its low price point and mainstream market focus, and the Tungsten, which will be a high-end product catering for road warriors and more specialised applications.

The Zire package includes rechargeable handheld, desktop software for the PC or Mac and Chapura PocketMirror software for connectivity to Microsoft Outlook. Available now for AUS$239.