Palm Improving Market Share On Strong Centro Sales

According to research firm IDC, Palm has increased their market share from 7.9% in Q4 07′ to 13.4% in Q1 08′ on strong sales of the Palm Centro.

The success of the Palm Centro and it’s attractive $99 price point have helped Palm make tremendous strides from the fourth quarter
of 2007 to Q1 of 2008. The Centro was only available through Sprint at the time, so these numbers could carry through to the next quarter. Clearly, Sprint’s aggressive ad campaign combined with Palm finding a new demographic with the pint-sized Centro have had an immediate impact. More impressive is that Palm saw their numbers rise while Apple saw a decline from 26.7 to 19.2 percent. Massachesetts based research firm IDC released the report today.

Apple is expected to announce a new 3G compatible iPhone in the next week. Rumors are abound that a price point of $199 is possible for either the existing iPhone or the 3G iPhone through an AT&T subsidy. Palm is expected to release the Centro on Verizon Wireless this month. The company will certainly see a boost with the forthcoming Treo 800w and Treo 850 models due out in the coming months. This will be followed by new Palm devices slated for 2009 that will run Palm’s next generation Palm OS 2.0.

Verizon Palm Centro Confirmed

There were certainly rumors about the Palm Centro being released on the Verizon Wireless network, but photos appearing this morning confirm the Centro is definitely headed for
Verizon.

Verizon Palm Centro
Verizon Palm Centro
Verizon Palm Centro
Back of Verizon branded Palm Centro

There has yet to be a formal announcement from either Palm or Verizon as to the date. Expect pricing to fall in line with previous Centro pricing leaving the Verizon Palm Centro
under the magic $100 mark with a 2-year contract. Specifications should also be in line with previously shipping models from Sprint. Verizon seems to have adopted a more colorful stance with the recent release of the white HTC Touch and now the blue Centro.

You can discuss the Verizon Palm Centro in our Centro forums.

Source: EngadgetMobile Photo credit: EngadgetMobile

Palm Sells One Millionth Centro

Palm yesterday announced the company has sold its one millionth Centro. With it’s mass appeal and even more appealing price point of $99, the
Treo makers value priced smartphone has become a hit among young adults, women and first-time smartphone buyers.

Palm Centro
Palm has sold its one millonth Centro

Click to enlarge.

"The Palm Centro is flying off the shelves because users who want to step up to a smartphone see it as the perfect first choice," said Brodie Keast, senior vice president of marketing for Palm, Inc. "It has everything a person needs to stay organized and connected with everyone who is important to them. We’re very excited about the Centro’s near-instant popularity in the U.S. and think it’s going to be a huge hit as it continues to make its way across the globe."

"Smartphones are certainly not new to business professionals; however, now more than ever we are seeing consumers migrate toward these types of devices as form factors have become more appealing and price points are now competing with traditional mobile phones," said Ryan Reith, senior research analyst with IDC. "Palm’s Centro plays right into the hands of the consumer looking for a more robust experience on their mobile phone. We definitely expect to see this trend continue worldwide."

Increasingly, consumers are making the shift from traditional mobile phones to smartphones, motivated by the desire to do more with their phones and the arrival of lower-cost devices. Smartphones accounted for 11 percent of all mobile phone sales in 2007 in the United States, and this is expected to increase to 35 percent by 2011. A recent Palm survey of Centro customers highlighted this trend, indicating that 70 percent are first-time smartphone users. When compared to other Palm smartphones, Centro also is reaching almost double the number of women, more than double the number of customers under age 35, and nearly three times as many customers with a household income of less than $75,000.

Palm also announced the official release of the Palm Centro on AT&T Wireless in obisidian black. Palm is now shipping Centro in 10 countries worldwide, including Hong Kong, Singapore, India, the UK, Germany, Spain, Ireland, France and Italy, and its already-rapid momentum is set to grow as Palm debuts the product in additional countries around the globe.

Black Centros Showing Up In AT&T Stores

Those waiting for the more buttoned-up version of AT&T’s Palm Centro will be happy to know they are showing up
in AT&T retail stores.

Palm Centro
Black Centro’s showing up at AT&T retail stores

Click to enlarge.

Outside of the more reserved Obsidian Black color, the specifications for the Centro remain unchanged. Pricing remains the same at $99.99 after rebates with a 2-year committment. For more information on the Palm Centro, please see our Palm Centro review or visit our sister site Everything Centro.

Palm Centro
Palm Centro

Click to enlarge.

Source: EngadgetMobile

Centro Cutting Into Treo Sales

According to financial analysts, Palm’s Centro smartphone is having an adverse affect on sales of the Palm Treo.

"We think the Centro is seeing modest success, but this is partially at the cost of higher margin Treo products," writes Citigroups Jim Suva. Suva went on to say, "We believe Centro products carry lower-than-corporate average margins to to the heavy subsidy required to hit the $99 price point. Centro traction may be viewed positively, but we think this will be offset by the negative financial impact." Suva also commented that Palm stands to lose more than RIM with Apple’s iPhone SDK release and entry into the Enterprise market.

The Palm Centro was originally thought of as a low-cost member of the Treo family, but Palm essentially rebranded the device as the Centro. The Centro has been referred to as a "Tiny Treo". While it has a smaller, pocketable form factor, the software package is virtually identical to the more expensive Palm Treo 755p. Palm released the Centro on Sprint Wireless back in October of 2007, months after the release of the Treo 755p was released on the same network. Palm most likely knew that releasing them at the same time would cause cannibalization of the higher priced Treo 755p. After the buzz of the Treo 755p had worn off, the Centro release injected new life into the Palm product line. The Centro has enjoyed modest success at time when Treo sales were slumping. While I’m sure there is some level of cannibalization that has occurred, it would have to be across carriers, thus meaning that a customer would have switch providers. Palm’s latest lineup includes:

  • Treo 755p (Carrier: Verizon Wireless)
  • Centro (Carrier: Sprint)
  • Centro (Carrier: AT&T)
  • Treo 750 (Carrier: AT&T)

It’s unclear how many "switchers" will jump carriers for a device. Not to mention that despite the same software bundle, these two smartphones are not cut from the same cloth. The more expensive Treo, while remaining a tad on bulky side, offers a better build quality than the value priced Centro. While AT&T offers both the Centro and Treo, the latter is the Treo 750 that runs Windows Mobile, while the Centro runs the Palm OS. While it is certainly plausible that some cannibalization has occured, it’s the lack of a new smartphone in the Treo series that is affecting Palm’s margins. The last major release was the Palm Treo 755p and this was seen as an evolutionary product. While the Treo 755p is new to Verizon, it’s release comes 7 months after the Sprint release of the same phone, that’s a significant amount of time when you are discussing mobile technology. Apple’s iPhone was released in June of last year and the company expects to reach the 10 million mark in device sales by the end of 2008.

Palm will announce their fiscal fiscal third quarter results Thursday. Analysts expect Palm to miss Wall Street estimates. As a result Palm shares were down today 18.5 cents or 4.7% at $4.88.

 

Source: Barrons

Palm Centro for AT&T Review

The Palm Centro for AT&T Wireless is the first GSM smartphone from Palm since the release of the Treo 680. Palm positioned the Treo 680 as the smartphone for soccer moms, young professionals and typically first time smartphone owners that might otherwise be intimidated by a Treo. While the Treo 680 had a modest reception among this new target demographic, the diminutive Palm Centro has turned out to be quite the successful smartphone. Read our comprehensive review of the Palm Centro for AT&T Wireless. New Palm Centro owners can also add their reviews and ratings for Palm’s latest smartphone in our new interactive review section.

Palm Centro In Colors

An official Palm online training guide shows the Palm Centro in a variety of colors, many of which have yet to be announced or released.

With the Treo 680, Palm released unlocked versions in a variety of colors, so many are speculating that Palm will do the same with the Centro. Unlocked smartphones allow owners to use their phone on any GSM network worldwide.

The new colors as shown below include glacier white (with grey numeric keys), obsidian black, ruby red and a navy blue variant.

Source: Palm InfoCenter

AT&T and Palm Introduce Centro

AT&T Inc. and Palm Inc. today announced the availability of the Palm Centro from AT&T.The device is available for just $99.99 after rebates with a
2-year commitment. The new Centro is available today in glacier white and will be available in obsidian black next month.

AT&T Palm Centro

AT&T Palm Centro in glacier white

Centro offers customers more choices to stay in touch with friends, family and co-workers by using voice, text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail or the Web.(2) Featuring a color touch-screen and full QWERTY keyboard, Centro is the first Palm OS product to launch with AT&T services, such as XM Radio Mobile, Push to Talk and MusicID.

Centro is the smallest and lightest Palm product to date and works with the nation’s largest digital voice and data network. Initially, the Palm Centro from AT&T is available in new “glacier white” with green keypad accents, and, in approximately one month, AT&T will debut a second color — “obsidian black.”

“The demand for crossover devices is skyrocketing, and the Centro hits a sweet spot for many customers looking for a QWERTY device with a solid suite of messaging and multimedia features,” said Michael Woodward, vice president, Business Mobility Products for AT&T’s wireless unit. “At a great price that can be coupled with a variety of AT&T’s messaging and data options, we are thrilled to offer Centro to our 70.1 million customers.”

“Centro offers a simple way for customers to stay connected to the people who are important to them while better managing their increasingly hectic lifestyles, all at the price of a traditional mobile phone,” said Brodie Keast, senior vice president of Marketing for Palm, Inc.

AT&T Palm Centro

AT&T Palm Centro in obsidian black

Click to enlarge.

Superior Phone

Centro’s touch-screen and keyboard, combined with the simplicity of Palm OS, make it easy to use with key features such as one-touch speakerphone, conference calling, ignore a call with text messaging and Bluetooth connectivity.

Easy Text Messaging

Centro’s text-messaging application displays text and multimedia messages in Palm’s chat-style view, just like PC-based instant messaging, so Centro users can see the entire conversation unfold. Palm is bringing this easy-to-use text messaging capability, which many Treo users have enjoyed for years, to Centro.

Instant Messaging

With the built-in IM application, customers can message with select contacts from their choice of AIM, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger instant messaging services.

E-Mail Options

Centro makes e-mail easy with Xpress Mail, Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, and Good Mobile Messaging. Using Xpress Mail, users can easily set up and access personal e-mail from Gmail, AOL, Yahoo!, Windows Live and other popular Internet service providers.(3) Xpress Mail also provides access to Lotus Notes. Via Exchange ActiveSync, receiving Microsoft Outlook e-mail while on the go, as well as syncing Outlook contacts and calendar appointments, can be done right after the phone comes out of the box.(4) Good Mobile Messaging is also supported on Centro and is downloadable over the air from get.good.com.

Music Options

The AT&T Mobile Music platform includes the ability to sideload music with Napster and eMusic with built-in Pocket Tunes Deluxe, listen to live radio with XM Radio Mobile, discover new songs with MusicID and more. Centro from AT&T is the first Palm smart device to offer XM Radio Mobile. For $8.99 a month, XM Radio Mobile gives AT&T consumers 25 of the best XM Radio channels, featuring commercial-free rock, hip-hop, country, jazz and more. A free three-day trial is included with Centro.

With a database of more than 3 million artists and titles, Centro customers can use MusicID to identify an unknown song. While holding Centro up to a speaker, the MusicID application returns song information such as title, artist and cover art, if available. It also keeps track of previous IDs and allows users to share song information with friends via text messages, all for $3.99 a month. A free three-day trial is included with Centro.

Contacts and Calendar

Since Centro comes with the Palm OS, it offers all of the great organizer functionality for which Palm is renowned, such as a detailed and integrated contacts list. Also, the simple and handy calendar makes it easier to manage increasingly busy lives.

Other AT&T Services for Centro * Push to Talk — Centro users can instantly talk across the largest Push to Talk network coverage area in America. Push to Talk works like a walkie-talkie to talk to an individual or a group of up to 29 users. With status icons that clearly indicate the availability of friends and family, Push to Talk customers will know who is free before they call. Users can purchase unlimited Push to Talk minutes with Nation Plans for $9.99 a month for each line and with FamilyTalk for $19.99 a month for each group (two to five lines). Customers also can use Push to Talk on a pay-per-use basis for $0.15 a minute.(5) * TeleNav GPS Navigator — With an optional stand-alone GPS receiver accessory, TeleNav GPS Navigator gives Centro users access to maps and more than 10 million points of interest, as well as turn-by-turn voice and on-screen driving directions.(6) Unlimited access to Navigator costs $9.99 a month. * MobiTV — With MobiTV, Centro users can watch live television, premium and prime-time programming, video-on-demand clips and satellite and digital music services from the top broadcast and cable television networks and major music labels for $9.99 a month.

AT&T Centro GPS

Optional TeleNav services on Palm Centro

Click to enlarge.

EDGE Network

The Palm Centro from AT&T operates on AT&T’s EDGE network, part of the GSM family of technologies. Used by more than 86 percent of the world’s wireless subscribers — 2.7 billion people(7) — GSM is the world’s most popular wireless phone technology, allowing unparalleled global roaming capabilities. AT&T customers with quad-band devices such as Centro can place calls in more than 195 countries and access data in more than 140.

AT&T’s EDGE network(8) is the largest national high speed wireless data network in the United States, with availability in more than 13,000 cities and towns and along some 40,000 miles of major highways. EDGE supports a wide range of data services, including streaming music, picture and video messaging, Internet access with the Blazer Web browser, instant messaging, Push to Talk and e-mail.

Pricing and Availability

The Palm Centro from AT&T is available at all AT&T retail stores and online at http://www.att.com and http://www.palm.com/centro for $99.99 after a two-year service agreement and a mail-in rebate. Unlimited e-mail and data access is available for $30 a month with AT&T’s PDA Personal data package with a corresponding voice plan. Messaging packages are available beginning at $5 for 200 text, picture, video or instant messages. Unlimited messaging is available for $20 for individual plans and $30 for FamilyTalk plans. For the complete array of AT&T offerings, visit http://www.att.com.

AT&T Palm Centro Rumored for February 19th Release

A member in our forums has received confirmation from an AT&T Store Manager that the Palm Centro will be released on February 19th.

The source indicated the Palm Centro will be priced at $99 (presumably after rebates) and it will come in white. Sprint’s exclusivity on the Palm Centro was rumored to be 3 months and they began shipping in early October. Palm Europe announced a GSM Centro releasing this week, lending credibility to a US release being imminent. This release date has not yet been announced or confirmed by either Palm or AT&T.

Photos of the Palm Centro for AT&T have been circulating on the blogosphere for the past few months. However, it’s yet to be seen if Palm will bring over the Phone application that made it’s debut on the Palm Treo 680. For some reason, the Phone app did not make it’s way to the Treo 700p or Treo 755p, but those smartphones were only released on Verizon and Sprint. The Palm Centro will mark the first Palm smartphone on AT&T since the Palm Treo 680. If AT&T has some sort of exclusive on the Phone app, one can only hope that it’s part of the Palm Centro release. The phone application on the iPhone is actually reminiscent of the Palm phone application, offering easy access to favorites, recent calls and more. If the February 19th date is correct, we won’t have much longer to wait for confirmation.

Treo 680 Phone app
Palm’s Phone application

Discuss the AT&T Palm Centro release in the Centro forums on EverythingCentro.

Save On Treo and Centro Software

For the month of February, the Everything Treo Software Store is offering 20% off all software titles. While our Super Savings promotion offering
10% off Treo accessories ends tomorrow, you can enjoy 20% off Treo and Centro software for the entire month of February. Not only can you shop Best Sellers for Palm OS or Windows Mobile, but select any regularly priced title and save 20%. Simply use coupon code WINTER20. Offer not valid on purchases in the Everything Treo Store.

Top Ten Treo Software Titles

  1. Butler: The assistant who thinks of everything. Alarms, Attention Grabber, Navigation, Launching, LED, Keyguard and Much More. Butler contains 7 sets of utilities yet costs less than most single applications. (see our Butler review)
    Butler
  2. Ringo Pro MP3 Ringtone Player: Ringo Pro lets you add the magic of MP3 ringtones to every call – bringing your smartphone to life, every time it rings! Use your favourite music, or explore the world of "real tones" to add some great new call effects to your phone. (see our Ringo Pro review)
    Ringo Pro MP3 Ringtone Player for Treo
  3. VolumeCare Pro: VolumeCare increases the maximum volume levels for each Treo speaker. Studies have proven volume increases up to a 250% in handset volume, speaker phone volume and wired headset volume. VolumeCare will also allow you to adjust your voice volume (aka microphone) so others will hear you *loud* and clear. (see our VolumeCare review)
    VolumeCare Pro for Treo
  4. CallRec: CallRec is the premier voice recording application for Treo and Palm Centro smartphones. This simple-to-use application allows you to record your telephone conversation and voice memos with ease by simply pressing the Treo side key. Or, you can set option to automatically record all your phone calls.
    CallRec for Palm OS
  5. CorePlayer Mobile for PalmOS: CorePlayer Mobile is at the center of the CoreCodec Universe for playing multimedia on your mobile phone, portable media players, PDA, GPS or convergence device. CorePlayer is truly the next-generation in multimedia playback. Its simple yet powerful interface and advanced features is designed to empower the CoreCodec community.
    CorePlayer for Palm OS
  6. Phone Technician: Powerful Phone Tool for the Treo smartphones! Sound Booster, Funky Ringer – Ringtones from Mp3, Wav, etc. Save Battery -Turn off the screen during calls. Radio control – set radio on & off times.
    PhoneTechnician for Treo
  7. UltimatePhone: Features a one of kind Phone application, it provides a gateway to web 2.0 and takes the features you are used to and makes them better and more exciting to use.
    UltimatePhone for Treo
  8. Power Hero: Power Hero helps you to get the best out of your Battery! Instantly see the status of the power-using features of your device.
    # Instantly turn features on and off (like Bluetooth, Network, Phone, Infrared).
    PowerHero
  9. Reset Doctor: It contains tools to help you reduce crashes and helps you track down what applications are causing problems.
    ResetDoctor for Treo
  10. Softick Audio Gateway: The first Bluetooth audio streaming solution for Palm OS handhelds
    which allows to connect Palm OS handheld to the Bluetooth stereo headphones and listen to digital audio played by Palm OS applications: MP3 players, audio book readers, games.
    Softick Audio Gateway

To save 20% on these best sellers or any of the thousands of Treo and Centro software titles, simply use coupon code WINTER20 at checkout.

Offer valid at Everything Treo Software Store. Expires February 29th, 2008. Cannot be combined with other offers. Not valid on purchases in the Everything Treo Store.