Treo Pro Now Available To Pre-Order!
Palm Opens Pre-Orders For “Super Hot” Unlocked GSM Treo Pro
There are some great news for those Treonauts who like me would like to be the very first to get their hands on Palm’s superb new Treo Pro as it is now available to pre-order online for $549.00 with a ship date ETA of between the 23rd and 30th of this month.
I have to admit that I have been extremely lucky to be able to “jump the line” a bit as I already have two Treo Pro smartphones in my hands – image above where I’m holding both the US and UK versions which are identical in all respects to the exception of the bundled GPS software (TeleNav in the US and Webraska in UK) as well as the minor accessories difference of the power adapter plug (the first is US-only and the second offers UK+EU plugs).
To say that I have been extremely pleased with my Treo Pro experience so far would be a very mild understatement – I’m actually still getting over the shock of being able to have such an ultraslim, ultraslick and ultrachic Palm smartphone in my pocket every day. There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the Treo Pro is the very coolest Windows Mobile smartphone with a full front QWERTY keyboard and high-resolution touchscreen that you can get your hands on in the world today – the hardware alone is so good in fact that I have been more than willing to overlook some of the limitations of its operating system.
While some people may consider that I have a natural bias, the fact is nonetheless that the vast majority of people seem to agree with my overall Treo Pro verdict as a staggering 91% of combined registered votes in a recent poll (see chart below) gave this latest Palm smartphone a hugely positive rating of Hot to Super Hot. I have to admit that based on my own experience and the evidently already vast support that the Treo Pro has garnered from prospective owners at large I am still surprised to see that some reviewers have been unable to grant this smartphone a greater rating.
One of the principal sticky points appears to be the matter of the (current) Unlocked Treo Pro pricing of $549.00 which some people consider to be excessive. I will not dispute the fact that this is a lot of money BUT one must first understand what an “Unlocked” smartphone means and the added value that this offers so let me explain this a bit further.
What is an Unlocked Treo?
When you purchase a Treo directly from your wireless carrier your smartphone will have a software “lock” that will not allow you to use that particular device with any other carrier. This “lock” will typically be in place for either the duration of your contract or until you request for your carrier to “unlock” your Treo – they may offer to do this for free or typically for a fee.
Carriers lock the Treo that you purchase because they are “subsidizing” a large portion of the full retail price ($549 in the case of the Treo Pro) and they naturally want to protect the cost of their subsidy by locking you to only use the device on their network. For example, the Unlocked Palm Centro has a retail value of $299 but is offered “locked” for only $69.99 with a 2 year contract by AT&T – thus saving you over $200 but locking you into a contract to allow the carrier to recoup its investment.
Therefore, a locked Treo Pro provided at a cheaper price by wireless carriers in return for a 1 or 2 year voice and/or data service commitment will appeal primarily to Treonauts who are looking to minimize the initial cost of their Treo purchase and are not so concerned about the contract aspect of it.
An “Unlocked Treo Pro” on the other hand will appeal to a different set of Treonauts who are much less concerned about price and a lot more concerned about having the freedom to choose which specific carrier they would like to use (in the US and the rest of the world). For example, you will be able to use your Unlocked GSM Treo Pro with either AT&T or T-Mobile in the US or any one of the hundreds of GSM mobile operators across the world (something that undoubtedly appeals to the globetrotting businessman).
In the past, most Treonauts have preferred an Unlocked GSM Treo (for example when the Treo 680 was released over 53% of people stated that they would choose an Unlocked version) because:
- The Unlocked Treo Pro will work with both AT&T and T-Mobile in the US.
- They can use their smartphone much more widely internationally thanks to the huge global footprint of GSM carriers (CDMA devices on the other hand can be used primarily _only_ in North America)
- They can easily change their SIM card to make use of cheaper local calling rates (for example using pre-paid SIM cards widely available in Europe and Asia).
I’m naturally curious to hear about what you are thinking about the prospect of owning an Unlocked Treo Pro today so please cast your vote and share your opinion with your fellow Treonauts below:Please note that for the moment there has been absolutely no official US carrier announcement from Palm but there are rumours that AT&T _may_ be on board for a release later this year while others also raise the possibility that Sprint and Verizon may also eventually get their Treo Pro. For the time being though, if like me you absolutely want to get your hands on this terrific smartphone you’ll be able to pre-order your Treo Pro online for $549.00.
Treonauts are always free from any locks…