Palm to Bring 20 Carriers Online with New Treo Smartphone

Palm to Bring 20 Carriers Online with New Treo Smartphone

October 16, 2006

By: Jill Janson

Palm, Inc. announced that it expects to bring online 20 carriers for its fourth new smartphone platform announced this calendar year.

The four platforms enable a significant expansion of Palm’s customer base and geographic reach. The smartphone platforms — two using Palm OS and two using Windows Mobile — are distinguished by operating system, industrial design, radio technology or combination of those elements. All of the platforms are either shipping now or ready for shipment once carriers complete their certifications.

The fourth new smartphone — the Palm Treo 680 smartphone — was announced today at DigitalLife, a tradeshow in New York City. It is a GSM/GPRS/EDGE quad-band world phone that delivers the Palm experience on Palm OS and in a new design that features an internal antenna and slimmer body.

“Introducing more smartphones faster and to more regions around the world has been a corporate objective of ours for the last year,” said Ed Colligan, Palm president and chief executive officer. “Now that we’ve delivered on all four promised smartphones, we are focused on expanding our global reach with each of them.’

“With our latest smartphone — the Treo 680 — we’ll reach out to a new, larger customer set of people who today own feature phones and are ready to experience a mobile phone that is also a mobile computer,” Colligan said. “These customers will be able to experience the difference a Treo smartphone makes, feel the power of web and email information at their fingertips and the ease of data input with our award-winning QWERTY keyboard.”

Colligan said he expects the new smartphone will be available via 20 or more carriers around the world by the end of the company’s fiscal year, June 1, 2007.

Each of Palm’s new smartphone platforms start with being excellent mobile phones, then are enhanced by quick and easy email access and easy access to the web.

Email is often described as the “killer app” for smartphone users, which is why Palm offers a choice of email solutions on its award-winning smartphones. Palm believes that web browsing on the go is the next killer app — perhaps even more important to a growing population of feature-phone users who increasingly expect more from their mobile phones.

The new smartphones are as follows:

  • The first new smartphone of the year is the Treo 700w, which was made available in January, uses the Windows Mobile operating system and runs on Verizon Wireless’ EvDO network, delivering broadbandlike speeds for web browsing and email downloads. This smartphone appeals especially to businesses that prefer to use the Microsoft platform across all IT assets. It is distinguished by the Palm experience on top of Windows Mobile, conveying ease-of-use benefits to customers who prefer the familiar Windows interface. An extension to this line of smartphones is the Treo 700wx, which became available to Sprint customers in September. Announcements with carriers outside the United States are pending.
  • The second smartphone announced this year is the Treo 700p, announced in May. It delivers the hallmark Palm experience on Palm OS, and runs on the EvDO networks operated by Sprint and Verizon Wireless. This improvement upon the former gold-standard Treo 650 with faster radio, more memory and improved multimedia capabilities appeals to individuals and businesses alike, especially those who value the industry’s most compelling ease of use.
  • The third new phone of the year represents Palm’s commitment to international expansion. The Treo 750v smartphone was unveiled in September in London, in conjunction with Vodafone Group and nine Vodafone operating companies across Europe plus Microsoft. This Windows Mobile-based five-band smartphone has a 3G/UMTS radio for fast web browsing and email-document downloading plus a sleeker form with internal antenna. Vodafone has a first-to-market advantage in Europe, with scheduled availability in Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK. The Treo 750v also was introduced in Singapore through M1, Vodafone’s network partner there. Additional carriers will be announced soon.
  • The fourth new smartphone of the year — the Treo 680 — is aimed at a new and larger demographic for Palm, a group of people who may be moving up from a feature phone and who may have experienced limited or disappointing email capabilities. The Treo 680 customer places a high value on work/life balance and may especially enjoy the more intuitive user interface on the smartphone’s main screen, which gives the user super-speedy access to favorite applications. Inside are the same Palm personal information-management features plus web browsing and email, delivered via a quad-band EDGE radio, so it works in most corners of the world.

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