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Centro - The Fastest Selling Palm Smartphone

Centro Sales JumpDriven by strong demand for the Palm Centro smartphone, sell-through for Palm’s latest quarter reached a company record high totaling 833,000 units - up 13 percent year over year.  Smartphone revenue was $275.4 million.

"Centro is off to the strongest start of any smartphone in Palm's history," said Ed Colligan, Palm president and chief executive officer. "Centro's fun design, great price point and amazing array of easy-to-use features is expanding Palm's customer base with more than 70 percent of Centro buyers trading up from traditional cell phones."

Centro - Fastest Selling Smartphone

Furthermore, Ed Colligan pointed out that Palm has “consistently sold 30,000 Centro smartphones per week and as new carriers are added that number continues to grow.”  He also pointed out that in sharp contrast to previous Palm smartphone sales patterns where there had been a sharp burst upon release and then fading as the product ages, the Centro story has proven to be the opposite with volume actually growing over time.

The combination of unique Centro capabilities (form factor, mobile email, Calendar/Contacts, web access, unmatched Messaging experience, extensive software solutions and physical keyboard among others) as well as its positioning, design and price (AT&T Centro and Sprint Centro available for free with 2 year contract) have resulted in a winner in the marketplace.

Additionally, the Centro is also attracting non-traditional customers with more than 70% of new owners buying a smartphone for the first time.  Also, compared to Treo buyers twice as many women and twice as many people under the age of 35 are buying Centro smarpthones.  Over 95% of new owners also choose to get a data plan and have a higher Messaging usage.

Separately, Ed Colligan also reiterated his company’s focus on “the delivery of a compelling new [smartphone] product line in the future”.  Chief among these is the forthcoming release of one or more new high-end enterprise-class Windows Mobile Treo smartphones “before the end of this summer”.

Finally, talking about the highly anticipated next-generation Palm platform (new operating system codenamed Nova due to be unveiled by the end of this year) being developed by his company, Ed Colligan was upbeat saying that he believes “the enhanced functionality of this new platform and its accessibility to the developer community combined with the exciting [new smartphones] designed for it (due to be released early next year) will usher in a new era for Palm” and help “renew Palm’s design and innovation leadership position”.

Treonauts are always leaders


Posted by Andrew on March 21, 2008 at 12:28 PM

Palm Centro

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Comments

1
by Happy | Mar 21, 2008 1:17:58 PM

Hi Andrew,

Love your site and love my Treo. I am dying to get an unlocked Cento to work with my T-Mobile plan. Any idea when this will be released in the US?

Thank you.

2
by tgwaste | Mar 21, 2008 1:58:28 PM

You can already buy an Unlocked GSM Centro here:

http://www.expansys-usa.com/c.aspx?f=280

mine works great with tmobile.

3
by Andrew | Mar 21, 2008 3:15:13 PM

Happy - I have to expect Palm to "officially" launch the Unlocked Centro in the US within the next couple of months at the most. I have to admit that I've been surprised not to see it released already...

Having said this, as tgwaste points out in his comment Expansys is selling it for $324 which is a very good price indeed.

Cheers, A.

4
by Hal | Mar 21, 2008 4:15:28 PM

Are they gaining more new customers, than they are losing from discontented old customers that haven't seen a decent update to the Treo in years? I love my Treo, but I'm looking for a new phone i can trust to stay up with the times.

5
by Rob | Mar 21, 2008 4:58:10 PM

I grabbed an unlocked black one from the UK on EBay. I can't stand the White & Green AT&T color scheme. I haven't had a bit of trouble, other than the 300k MMS cap. With the 1.3 MP camera my pictures are normally 350k+. I need to call AT&T and see if they will/can up my limit. Does anyone know if TMobile has a similar cap?

6
by Roberto | Mar 22, 2008 3:25:04 AM

For reference, I paid 449 Swiss francs - just under USD 450, all taxes included - for an unlocked black Centro a couple of days ago in Zurich. That's pretty well the street price at European outlets, so the Expansys offer is rather good... (I just had to have one right there and then, as we are sorely Centro-less here in Canada). Love this beastie.

7
by John | Mar 23, 2008 4:51:18 PM

"Treonauts are always leaders..."???

How exactly?

8
by Jeff | Mar 23, 2008 11:31:11 PM

great: the Centro is selling. For the people who have high-end Palm OS phones, it's not so much of a thrill. My 700p was state of the art about two years ago. Now, I've got other choices- the Voyager, some of the Blackberrys, etc- and I want to know what Palm is doing to update. HTC and RIM are working to get my business with built-in GPS, a better camera, longer-lasting batteries and other niceties. Palm made me wait for months for a firmware update after months of resets. Don't get me wrong: I am going to favor a Palm OS phone with a real QWERTY keyboard and the ability to handle SD cards. But I need to see some improvements befors I sign up for another 2 year dance...

9
by Roberto | Mar 24, 2008 3:51:26 AM

The Centro may be considered a low-end Treo, but I certainly prefer its looks and feel to the not-so-long-ago high-end 650 that I had before. I sincerely hope that Palm will not associate the concept of high-end with the bulkier form factor of older units. People in my office who had just acquired stocky HTC TyTN units running bloated WM6 were rather taken with my new Centro; it is svelter both in looks and in performance - and can run way more apps than a Blackberry. Sure, I am still waiting for Wi-Fi and maybe GPS (as long as they don't needlessly deplete batteries). But if Palm can fit them in something as eminently "palmable" as the Centro, I shall gladly give them a little more time.

10
by Bob Pfeiffer | Mar 24, 2008 11:39:57 AM

After being a Palm guy for 10 years, I think the time has come to move on. Now that the iPhone will start allowing apps to be installed, the next "smartphone" I purchase will most likely be an Apple. They are not available here in Canada but by the time that my current contract is up and I have to make a choice about my next phone it most likely will be here and hopefully at a price that won't make me cringe when I buy it. Right now I'm making due with an iPod Touch and loving it. I'm using it way more than my Treo around the house because it's a much better experience and I can make use of my wifi network.

Bob

11
by SandCitySurf | Mar 24, 2008 2:19:54 PM

I have used the Palm OS since the Samsung SPH-i300. It was a fantastic phone. With a little imagination, it could have developed beyond the Apple iPhone. I mean, it was there already.

The lack of imagination dogs Palm management, to this moment. Palm has become commodity. You can only sell on price. Wallah, the Centro.

Either the management are morons, in denial or just plain unqualified. What I have seen sucks so bad, that I will be getting into WM6 on a non-Palm handset.

Egads!

12
by dgarts | Mar 24, 2008 3:50:14 PM

The familiar clamour of disillusioned disgruntled disappointed and dismissed loyal Palm people rings loud and clear.

The power user needs some attention. If Palm doesn't figure it out and throw us more than just a bone, there are plenty of options springing up to woo us away.

Enough with the window dressing, get serious about the feature set, and start with more screen real estate (what's the value of getting an attachment in email when I can't see it on postage stamp sized screens, I'm not a highschool kid texting love notes in math class, the root word of "spreadsheet" is SPREAD, not squint).

13
by Stuart | Mar 25, 2008 8:47:15 AM

I don't understand the excitement over their growth in sales - Palm missed analysts' expectations as its quarterly revenue dropped 24 percent year-over-year to $312.1 million and it swung to an adjusted loss of 16 cents per share. Moody's has further downgraded Palm's status to B2, which is more or less a junk bond status.

Yes, the Centro has been a success by any measure, but certainly not enough to counter significant declines in an aging Treo product line; particularly as RIM and Apple innovate and dominate the smartphone market.

I'd hold my applause for Treo. Being in the business, they're going to see many more rough patches ahead.

SCC

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