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Gore Endorses Handspring Treo As Personal Communication Device
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NEW YORK - Former Vice President Al Gore issued a press release Wednesday in which he endorsed the Handspring Treo (now a part of Palm, Inc.) as his primary Personal Communication Device. "Handspring's rise to power and subsequent merging with Palm amid the competition from the likes of Blackberry, Psion, and Casio shows that it is really the only manufacturer that can inspire at the grass roots level all over the country," the release said.

Palm was quick to issue its own release, stating in part, "It is an honor and a privilege to receive this endorsement. It shows that despite our differences, we carry a mutual respect that rises above them." Palm insiders say that an ad campaign featuring the former presidential candidate will be assembled in the coming weeks.

Blackberry's response was unsurprisingly negative. "We were caught completely off-guard. We provided dozens of our 7000-series units to Gore during his 2000 campaign. His usage and even his personal contact with us left us confident that he liked our product and service. We expected some sense of loyalty," said Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of Research In Motion, Ltd, developer of the Blackberry devices.

"Of course, it's quite a selling point," said Andrew Cantleburn, of the advertising agency Lent, Crandle, and Cantleburn. "On the other hand, Gore lost in the 2000 election, so you can imagine a competitor's ad saying something like, 'Only losers use Handspring' or something like that. It could be used against them."

Other handheld manufacturers we contacted declined to be interviewed.
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