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Verizon Treo 800w Coming Q3 08

We already knew that the Sprint Treo 800w is coming in July and thanks to a leaked PowerPoint presentation we now get to see that the Treo 800w will also be coming to Verizon in Q3 2008 (probably early September).

Verizon Treo 800w

Aside from confirming a number of high-end Treo 800w specifications such as the high-speed 1xEvDO Rev-A wireless data connectivity, built-in 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth v2.0 and Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP) perhaps the single most important information of all is the fact that the Treo 800w picture contained in the slide is the same as the one we saw leaked two weeks ago (see below).

At the same time, Verizon’s slide does not make mention of Windows Mobile 6.1 nor of the expected built-in Treo 800w GPS navigation and it also shows a 1.3 megapixel camera when all other indications to date have been of 2.0 megapixel.

Treo 800w vs. Treo 850

Overall it appears that our earlier conclusion that the Treo 800w is a CDMA model destined exclusively for Sprint and Verizon and that the Treo 850 (above) for its part is a GSM model (ETA Q4 08) destined for AT&T in the US and most other carriers worldwide (such as Vodafone in the UK) was correct after all.

Also, although I am clearly impressed by the high-end specifications of both the Treo 800w and Treo 850 I have to again admit that the looks of the Treo 800w continue to leave me unimpressed while the rather attractive Treo 850 offers a much better glimpse into the capabilities of the new design team at Palm. 

Palm Smartphone Lineup 2009

Finally, it is worthwhile noting that during an interview last week Palm CEO Ed Colligan essentially stated that 1) all future Treo smartphones will be running Windows Mobile and target the enterprise market; 2) the only devices that will continue to run Palm OS will be Centro smartphones targeted at the consumer market and 3) the new NOVA OS (Palm 2.0) based on Linux will power a next-generation of Palm smartphones under a new brand (Quattro?) targeted at the “prosumer” market (see graphic above).

Some people have argued that such a move by Palm to market three distinct lines of smartphones is “dumb” but I strongly disagree.  I believe that by the middle of next year Palm will be the only smartphone manufacturer to have such a wide portfolio of devices with which to target all three segments (Consumer, Prosumer and Enterprise) of the market. 

The fact is that the Centro has already proven to be the single most successful consumer smartphone available today and I have no doubt that the new line of high-end Windows Mobile Treo will fare equally well in the enterprise market while the promise of an “amazing” new line of Nova OS smartphones makes me enthusiastic that Palm can make a very strong resurgence in the growing prosumer segment in the coming year.  Exciting times ahead…

Verizon slide deck reveals Palm 800w [via engadgetmobile]

Treonauts always shape the times


Posted by Andrew on June 3, 2008 at 12:07 PM

Treo 800w

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Comments

1
by Joe | Jun 3, 2008 2:03:38 PM

Not sure where Andrew is getting his "fact" that "the Centro has already proven to be the single most successful consumer smartphone available today". There are consistent news reports that both Apple and RIM's share of the smartphone market is significantly higher than Palm's.

I suppose one might try to argue that RIM has multiple models, but Apple doesn't -- they just have iPhone, and it's significantly outselling Centro. (1.7MM iPhones vs 833,000 Centros according to each company's most recent financial reports.)

2
by drdave | Jun 3, 2008 2:27:29 PM

So basically, we are to get Bill Gates' buggy, kludgy "why use one button when a multi-nested menu will do" operating system crammed down our throats after all and the elegant, fast and reliable Palm OS is relegated to novice phones. Well, you had a good run, Palm, but after over a decade of loyalty, you will lose me as a customer when I choose my next phone.

DrDave

3
by Mike | Jun 3, 2008 2:57:04 PM

Having 3 lines of smartphones may be a good idea, but having different operating systems on them is not. Upgrading becomes very painful and I would think Palm would want to encourage upgrading.

4
by Andrew | Jun 3, 2008 4:33:35 PM

Joe - most analysts agree that neither the iPhone nor BlackBerry are "consumer" smartphones. The iPhone is in the "prosumer" category and the BlackBerry is principally in the "enterprise" category.

In this light, the Centro is currently the most successful "consumer" smartphone on the market with nearly 2.0 million units sold.

Additionally, I believe that both the new Windows Mobile Treo 800w and 850 lineup will make a very strong show in the "enterprise" segment against BB while the new NOVA OS devices coming out next year will definitely be able to stand up against competitors such as the iPhone in the "prosumer" segment.

drdave - the next-generation Nova OS smartphones will under no circumstances be targeted at the "novice" user that you describe. These will be high-end smartphones to compete against the likes of the iPhone and BB Bold in the "prosumer" segment that will simply not be _primarily_ targeted at the enterprise customer.

Mike - the issue for upgrades actually has much less to do about the device than the OS. Now that each line of Palm smartphones (Centro, Quattro?, Treo) has its own unique OS (Palm OS, NOVA and Windows Mobile respectively) will actually make it much easier for people to upgrade as their experience will remain the same within each model lineup.

Cheers, A.

5
by Joe | Jun 3, 2008 5:04:09 PM

@Andrew: Thanks for your response.

However, I disagree that the current generation iPhone is a "prosumer" device. (This is obviously quite subjective since there's no real definition of that term.)

What do you think makes it "prosumer" instead of "consumer"? iPhone offers a phone, media support (camera/photo viewer/MP3), calendar, contact manager, E-mail, and Web browser... all of which are offered by the Centro, which you cite as "consumer".

The main difference is that the iPhone has a much more beautiful form factor and UI (and also much more modern, sophisticated underpinnings), but hopefully "beautiful" doesn't disqualify something as a consumer device.

Regardless, I don't think this distinction is relevant. The only reason I'm even debating this point is that I worry that prospective customers researching smartphones might see your comment and get an unreasonably optimistic view of the current health of the Palm platform. The truth is that the Palm platform is currently on the decline with little likelihood of a major upswing for at least a year. The main factor buoying Centro is its attractive price point.

6
by Andrew | Jun 3, 2008 5:24:45 PM

Joe - the main distinction between what makes one device fall in the "consumer" instead of the "prosumer" category is simply price.

At $99.99 the Centro is clearly attracting droves of "consumers" while the $499.99 iPhone only appeals to the "prosumers" who can afford it...

Finally, I think that the success of the Centro demonstrates that the Palm OS platform remains very healthy (albeit in a new lower-end segment) while the new Windows Mobile devices coming out soon and NOVA OS smartphones coming out next year will further reinvigorate Palm.

Cheers, A.

7
by Joe | Jun 3, 2008 5:48:57 PM

@Andrew -- sorry, but I think your conclusion from your comment #6 is completely broken.

Normally, if Product A and Product B have basically the same features, the less expensive product will get more market share, because people like saving money.

But in the most recent quarter reported by each company, the iPhone outsold Centro by more than 2-to-1, DESPITE iPhone costing 3-4x more than Centro -- even in a weak economy where customers are price conscious!

iPhone is further handicapped by not supporting Sprint, so its potential customer base is smaller than Centro's.

That is NOT a healthy showing for the Centro IMHO; quite the contrary, it's showing that Palm can't move much product DESPITE having a huge price and carrier advantage.

8
by random9q | Jun 3, 2008 6:00:36 PM

@Andrew:

I'm noticing two more softkeys on that image of the 800w that I didn't notice the first time? I don't think it looks as ugly/unimpressive as you do, though I do think it looks like someone took a Centro and flattened it, then pasted a WinMo screen on it. I think you're basically more impressed with glossy black and I'm OK with matte blue is what it comes down to. Glossy versus matte are fasion fads and revolve faster than you can blink. Glossy flat phones are what's "in" now, I cannot dispute that, though.

@Andrew/Joe:

Centro = the new Zire. Except that people are buying it. $100 Zire w/o integrated wireless and people didn't go for it much. $100 Centro w/ integrated wireless and I suddenly see a lot of people around town with them. And as long as people are buying them at a reasonably brisk clip then Palm'll keep making them. Whether they stay PalmOS forever or become Palm's Linux based OS's is probably one of those things that won't be decided for a few years.


@Mike:

I agree in a narrow sense but disagree in a wider sense. I agree that it makes sense for Palm to encourage people somehow want to to move from less expensive models to more expensive models as they can afford more. And that putting an OS incompatibility problem in the way isn't helpful. I disagree with the degree to which this is an impediment to their health as a company. I think that what they'll win by having a wider offering will potentially swamp any "upgrade resistance". And I think you might underestimate the degree to which many people will gladly put up with temporary inconvenience for the sake of their "gadget habit".

@DrDave:

Yeah, I don't like WinMo, either. Apparently enough people like their "Start menus" that there was a launcher created for PalmOS that gave it a Start button. I kid you not. And I think Good email also forces this topology on PalmOS, from what I've seen. Face it, some people LIKE having an extra step to begin everything with that's always the same step every time. It's comforting to know where to start, even if it is inefficient. I'm not telling you to get used to WinMo, just to get used to the fact that a lot of people like Start menus and for them it might actually be easier. (There's also my friend who can't abide iconic buttons because she's so text-oriented. A Start menu works better for her too because it spells things out. That's just classic language versus visual processing, and some people favor one over the other.)

9
by random9q | Jun 3, 2008 6:17:17 PM

@Joe:

Actually, sometimes people like spending more money. It makes them feel like they got something more valuable. I'm not joking. Not even close. Consumer psychology is tricky that way. It is rationally wrong, even, but true in practice. Can't move a product at $2.50? Hike the price up to $7.00 after relabeling it and see if people go for it. Sometimes you still can't move it, sometimes you can move your whole stock in a month and be done with it.

Now, back to your main point. OK, the iPhone is outselling the Centro by scads and scads. Given. The Centro is outselling some of Palm's previous models by scads and scads. You don't seem to understand that part of the equasion. The part where BOTH are true. So how is this possible? Put it this way, Palm is able to grow its market share with the Centro at the same time the iPhone is gobbling up market share like crazy. Yes, people love the looks of the iPhone and Apple was extremely, extremely successful at piggybacking their very successful iPhone ads on the already near monopoly achieved with the iPod's market win.

It sounds like a phyrric victory to say that "Centro survived the onslaught of the iPhone to still grow Palm's market share, except that the iPhone is still kicking everyone's behind in the market." Except that it means that Palm will have a revenue stream long enough to volley back. A good thing, because without the success they're seeing with the Centro they might've been swamped under.

And note that Palm's market share is still growing because of the Centro at the same time the iPhone is overgrowing it? That market share has to come from somewhere. Meaning RIM, Motorola, Nokia, HTC, and so on. Motorola isn't looking so good these past few months... maybe HELOMOTO lost steam and their customers went to Palm? Maybe. Probably not as simple as that.

So you and Andrew are both right and quit yer fussin.

10
by Joe | Jun 3, 2008 7:05:39 PM

@random -- good commentary.

Generally I think the smartphone biz is growing at the expense of non-smartphones, regardless of manufacturer. Most people, even those who aren't really technophiles, can appreciate the value of a single device that is a phone, camera, calendar, music player, etc -- especially when the price point is reasonable to the average budget.

So in this sense Palm has some good customer base to capture, and their $100 solution fits the bill well. I just don't think it's a healthy ecosystem long-term.

Oh, and we haven't even talked about Android, since it "doesn't exist yet". Once released that'll toss another curveball into the mix -- and again, I think it'll be more detrimental to Palm than to the other competing products.

I expect I'd have a different view if Palm Nova products were being released this summer.

Interesting times.

11
by random9q | Jun 3, 2008 10:37:44 PM

@Joe:

Thanks. :-)

Interesting times a plenty. The smartphone market isn't the most exciting thing in my life, but for some odd reason it facinates me.

Android is a nice wildcard. I think I'm getting a better feel for how long it takes a manufacturer to design a new smartphone even if the OS is already a given or near given. Time to market for Android is taking a lot longer than I'd expected for something that appeared on the scene with a full or near full SDK in ready-to-use form. Half a year between models reaching the market has got to be an illusion, much like microchip manufacturers are plotting now something that will only be released years hence.

I'm actually kinda excited to see what manufacturers do with Android. I'm enamoured with the fact that the OS lets you swap out even the basic apps for new ones. It's one of my annoyances that, say, even though I have a newer version of DocsToGo I can't displace the one in ROM. Or more frequently, because I use LifeBalance instead of Tasks, wishing I could just do away with the built-in tasks entirely. Products like Skinner, TAKEphONE, DateBk, and the like could gain a little more central a place if Palm decided to afford users a similar degree of freedom in "Project Nova" OS.

But that doesn't quite fit with "controlling the user experience", so I don't expect they will. They're touting to Wall Street -- in not so many words -- that they can pull the same technical tricks that made the iPhone great. If they come up with some novel UI tricks that are as fun to use, don't trip over any Apple patents in the process, they have a better-than-serious technical contender and they just need the marketing savvy to out-cool the iPhone. Not easy, but not out of the realm of possibility either. It'll be interesting to watch the fireworks. But with those code words I'm also betting that me replacing built-in apps with replacement apps might require hack tools. Something I may or may not feel comfortable doing with a device I pay quite a chunk of my income for, even with an employer-provided discount. (No, not Palm. Other industry entirely. Tech-heavy but not tech-based.)

I'm also curious to see how far Apple goes with unblocking the future generation(s) of the iPhone SDK. Lots of potential there. Or for that matter, RIM could loosen up a bit.

I'd feel a bit less anxious waiting for Palm if I wasn't guessing it'd take until mid to late 2009 for Verizon to approve a device using Palm's new OS, and that's IF they do. (Though I'm accumulating reasons to leave Verizon over time.) Once I see what Palm's offered in early 2009, though, I'm going shopping for whatever I think will be my best new device. I'd hate to lose a lot of my favorite Palm software, and I'm cheering Palm on as a longtime customer, a Microsoft critic, an Apple admirer who is Steve Jobs wary (why's a guy who seems so cool in public reputedly such a jerk to work for? is his karma just taking extra long to catch up or are the reports an incomplete picture?), ... and more. But I'm also in a "proove it to me" mood.

At least I can afford -- and want -- to wait until they roll out some devices with their promised new OS. I want to eck out some more life out of the 700p I bought and see the monthly cost of having bought it go down some more. Not many people watching as closely as I'm watching take my position, they all seem to want something _now_. Well, and there's Andrew, but Andrew's a Treo fan just about no matter what. *grin* How else does he manage to come up with a tag after every blog post starting with "Treonauts [are] always [superlative phrase here] ..."? You've got to admit he can at least argue the point with some rational basis in relatively recent history, news, and rumor. Unlike Cubs fans here in Chicagoland. They're just [usually pleasantly] delusional.

12
by John Whorfin | Jun 3, 2008 11:26:29 PM

Andrew, Andrew, Andrew...

Put down the Kool-Aid. We aren't drinking it anymore.

It is at best delusional and at worst dishonest to call the Centro "the single most successful consumer smartphone out there today". Because IT'S JUST NOT TRUE. Stop undermining what tiny sliver of credibility this site has left.

And your vain attempt to defend your position by way of arbitrarily defining what "consumer" and "prosumer" mean is as specious as it is hopelessly irrational. The iPhone costs several times what the Centro does, and yet it's still dramatically outselling it. And the iPhone - just like the iPod and iMac - is clearly positioned (and succeeding) as a CONSUMER product. In fact, it is a CONSUMER PRODUCT PHENOMENON Palm can only begin to dream of hoping of replicating.

Meanwhile, next week Apple launches an all-out assault on the Enterprise market with the SAME HARDWARE AND OS PLATFORM, simply by upgrading it to support Exchange Server and third-party applications, and adding 3G and GPS.

The fact that Palm has to create THREE DIFFERENT HARDWARE/SOFTWARE PLATFORMS to try to address the consumer, prosumer and enterprise markets shows just how utterly lost they are.

STOP DRINKING THE KOOL-AID, ANDREW.

13
by Bob Pfeiffer | Jun 4, 2008 12:08:22 PM

It's an interesting road that Palm is going down but I think it's a little too late for a lot of people. Especially the "prosumer" crowd. In this scenario - I won't buy a WinMo phone no matter what features it has (I just don't like the OS), the Centro has too small a screen and is just the tired old Palm OS and I don't think I can wait to see what the Nova ends up being. The iPhone will be available very soon in Canada (hopefully right around June 9th) and that's gonna probably be my next smartphone. It's just exactly what the "prosumer" market wants, especially once we can legally add applications to it. StyleTap just announced it will have their Palm emulator available for the iPhone as well, so there is nothing the iPhone won't have that my Treo currently does. A no-brainer in my opinion.

14
by Andrew | Jun 4, 2008 12:25:30 PM

Bob - there is no doubt that the iPhone is a terrific device (particularly its browser) BUT...

- The lack of a physical keyboard has been a huge drawback for me
- Many aspects of the iPhone's actual "phone" functionality is just OK at best
- The text messaging functionality is miles behind that found on the Palm OS Treo and Centro

The above plus many other factors have kept me from embracing the iPhone and with all its deficiencies I am still ultra happy with my current Centro.

It's a shame that Palm doesn't have a smartphone to compete in the "prosumer" market right now but I have no doubt that the NOVA OS devices coming out next year will be able to compete aggressively against any other competitors.

Cheers, A.

15
by Chuck Darwin | Jun 4, 2008 2:34:14 PM

The difference between the "Prosumer" line and "Enterprise" is, quite simply, the ability to easily manage MS Exchange in order to use enterprise e-mail servers (or to do so via a proprietary method, i.e. Blackberry). Palm doesn't support a viable solution for Palm OS any more. Don't get me started on Versamail. Apple still doesn't offer that for iPhone, which is what makes it "Prosumer" (or "Consumer", I tend to agree that mere price does not differentiate the two if the feature set is the same). Palm understands this. I predict that Nova won't support MS Exchange.

Palm should have purchased Chatterbox and kept its MS Exchange implementation alive, but I guess that wouldn't have fit the new product development roadmap. Lack of serious enterprise e-mail support kills Palm OS as a choice for me next upgrade cycle. Windows Mobile is crap, so my 700p will be my last Treo. I was holding out hope for Nova, but now that I understand the product development roadmap I will probably end up with a Blackberry like everyone else at my office. Pity.

16
by Bob Pfeiffer | Jun 4, 2008 4:00:47 PM

I see your points Andrew but for me, the issues you brought up don't affect me.

- I don't mind the on screen keyboard. I have the iPod touch and it works well enough for me.
- I don't do much text messaging so that's also not an issue.

As far as all the other functionality goes, I don't think anybody should dismiss the iPhone until after version 2.0 comes out and we can start loading aftermarket programs. There will surely be a texting application that will do what you want as well as things like Agendus, eReader, Docs to Go and who knows what else. There is also MS Exchange functionality in version 2 so that's also a plus for the enterprise and prosumer market.

17
by Blake | Jun 4, 2008 8:10:45 PM

Andrew, you'll only be able to use the argument $99 for a Centro until AT&T rolls out the iPhone at a discounted price for new subscribers. That's what you're doing with the Centro. EVERY time you write $99 for the Centro, it'd be appreciated if you would put an asterisk since the Centro is ONLY $99 for new subscribers. If you're just wanting to buy it outright, it's $349. Sounds like a "PROSUMER" price to me.

18
by Don | Jun 4, 2008 9:08:21 PM

One handed operation is what it is all about for me. The screen keyboard is a HUGE drawback for me in this way so I am really looking for to the 800w. WIFI, faster cell data services and GPS will put it way over the top. A 2 MP camera would be really helpful too. Windows media on my current 700w works great especially for streaming music. You can get a refurbed 700w for $99 which makes it extremely compelling right now if you don't have one.

19
by one handed | Jun 5, 2008 10:26:26 AM

Don,

Have you ever tried an iPhone?

I was skeptical of the keyboard, too.

After five minutes of using iPhone, though, for me it is very much faster and more accurate for one-handed typing than my Palm.

If the Palm is in a case, it is even worse. The case just interferes with everything, from typing to scrolling.

The Palm requires a case more than iPhone, because of all the openings that can gather dust when in pocket or purse.

Your mileage may vary, but iPhone kills Palm in this regard, in my opinion.


20
by 3v.mike | Jun 9, 2008 5:26:57 PM

IMHO

The new NOVA OS has to be something stellar for palm to have any hope of competing in todays market. Currently I have a palm treo 700p and I love it, I've tried everything, BB,HTC,Windows Mobile, everything else for verizon is terrible. I think the iphone is great, I think the os is elegant, I like the form factor, I don't have a problem with the on screen keyboard. What I can't stand about the iphone is that I have to have att to use it. I've never had a good experience with using att both myself and calling att subscribers from my verizon phone. I don't like being forced to use one subscriber simply to get a device. If apple had come up with a plan to release both a GSM and CDMA version of the Iphone, then palm should have packed up and left the market. Since they did not Palm has one, last chance to do something bold.

PS. whatever it is, it's got to be pretty fantastic to rival the iphone

21
by Scott | Jun 9, 2008 8:35:20 PM

3v.Mike, I know there's one thing you haven't done with your Plam OS Treo...Move an email from the inbox to a folder that you have in outlook from it. Or how about this one, create a calendar appointment on your palm os treo and have it actually show up in your desktop mailbox.

I've primarly used WM devices, got bored with my last treo 700wx and decided to give palm OS another try (700P for a few days when it first hit VZW and currently for the last few months a 755P) and while it serves the purpose for the most part (yea, it gets emails, calendar items, contacts etc) it just is so incredibly lacking in other areas.

I thus would agree with the mention in this article of concentrating the palm os for the consumer and wm for the enterprise....

Just 34 more days till I can get my hands on the 800w - CAN'T WAIT! This 755P is hitting ebay July 6th, good riddens!

22
by Chuck Mc | Jul 14, 2008 7:13:44 PM

Do you suppose Verizon will allow the GPS functionality, which would compete with their lucrative VZ Navigator functionality?

23
by John | Nov 8, 2008 7:37:24 PM

Been waiting on the Treo 800w for many months now. What are the latest rumors about a release date for Verizon? Q3 is over; we are now in Q4.
Thanx. jmm

24
by Larry | Dec 16, 2008 8:58:23 AM

I heard from our B2B Verizon rep that the 800w has been nixed entirely. He is saying that all Palms have been pulled because of reliabilty issues. I have found it to be true that you cannot even find a 700wx in the store anymore.

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