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Gartner Says Treo Not Leading... Give me a break...

You may recall that in my post last week "NYTimes: Palm Leading, Windows Lagging" I mentioned the 'creative' ways that Gartner Research used to place the Symbian OS and Nokia ahead of palmOne and the PalmOS in the smartphone wars.

Well, as if to add insult to injury, today Gartner released another report but this time proclaiming that RIM was the leader in the PDA market(!?).  This because again and very conveniently they note that their calculations "do not include smartphones, such as the Treo 650 and BlackBerry 7100, but include wireless PDAs, such as the iPAQ 6315 and Nokia 9300".  I shake my head as I write "You must be kidding me"...

Additionally, if this wasn't enough, discussing how palmOne and the PalmOS had 'slipped' to third place in their rankings, Todd Kort, principal analyst in Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide group goes on to state that "We expect that palmOne will be adding other operating systems and setting more of its own direction, while PalmSource is redirecting itself toward Linux and smartphones" as if suggesting that these were bad things. 

I cannot believe that Gartner, an otherwise reputable firm, would be so clueless as to argue that our Treo is not a PDA.  Not only is the company intent on refuting the Treo/PalmOS leadership in the smartphone market but now it also pretends that palmOne does not lead the PDA market.  If Gartner were a firm of accountants their 'creative' ways would surely land them in a bit of trouble. 

In our case however, articles that will follow this report such as InternetNews' entitled "RIM's Blackberry Topples PalmOne In Handheld Market" will do nothing to help set the record straight and much to spread mis-information.  As is increasingly the case, if you'd like to read the unfiltered news and views and get the 'real' picture you'll have to head to a blog or forum (see MobileRead) instead of a mainstream media publication - that is unless you like to read fiction...

A couple of funny things have happened since I wrote this post...

1. A BlackBerry blog correctly notes that "Treonauts scoops this [Gartner] article" but incorrectly declares that "[Treonauts] is another Palm sponsored blog" in a weird web of conspirary apparently involving us, Engadget and Gizmodo among others - sound the alarms please as the realm of fiction appears to have permeated some blogs after all...

For the record, as I've stated before (and should be fairly obvious), neither I nor this blog are in any way affiliated with palmOne or PalmSource . 

2. InternetNews (part of TechWeb) runs another article that completely rectracts from its earlier headline above and now instead reads "RIM Passes PalmOne? Not True." while ending the article by noting that:

"What I would like to see is Gartner's rankings on smart phones -- with the RIM devices featuring mobile phone functionality included.  Such a report would be not only interesting and relevant, but credible as well."

Congrats to InternetNews for being the only mainstream Internet publication (so far) to have so publicly retracted while many others are happy to continue to disseminate propaganda.  I hope that they will all soon follow suit and set the record straight.

[Thanks A. Davis]

Treonauts will win the smartphone wars fair and square...

Posted by Andrew on May 5, 2005 at 08:40 AM

Treo Opinion

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by Byron | May 5, 2005 4:18:26 PM

The Treo is neither Phone nor PDA.
It just exists in your mind.
At least thats what Gartner leads me to believe.

by Mike | May 5, 2005 4:45:21 PM

I wouldn't know,,,,cause Verizon still hasn't released the 650!!!!!!!!!!!!

by shel israel | May 5, 2005 6:07:36 PM


I would have emailed you on this, but I couldn't find your email address on your site. I'm writing a book with Robert Scoble on business blogging. I'd like to ask you a few questions about TreoNauts. Could you ping meat [email protected] if you are interested? Thanks you very much.

by Steve | May 5, 2005 7:22:48 PM

I will bet you RIM sponsored the report. That is how things work. Don't take it personally. Palm needs to court these idiots if it wants the reports to say that. I will bet that Gartner is going to them asking them to sponsor a "SmartPhone Report". If they do, guess who will be in the top right quadrant?

by Gillian | May 5, 2005 10:33:24 PM

Your very right but this post comes as a very bias Palm user spitting out pro-Palm propaganda just like Gartner's research without any fact. Infact Palm is still second but it's market is shrinking and sooner than later RIM will surpass PalmOne. Canalys Research firm has just released its own numbers which includes the Palm Treo and Blackberry 7100s. Q1 2005 shipments for Palm devices were 1,009,000 compared to RIM's 758,000. But compared to last year Q1 2004 RIM has seen a growth of 100% compared to Palm's measly 1%. You can read more here:


Let's face it, Palm's outlook isn't too bright unlike RIM and their Blackberrys.

by Gillian | May 5, 2005 11:05:06 PM

Oh yeah and I forgot the same Gartner report last year showed Palm being number 1 with 40.7% share of the market and Windows CE with 40.2%. How things have changed, Palm dropped 3 spots just from last year:


by Sam | May 6, 2005 1:38:22 AM

Hi treonauts,

I am in Vietnam. I have been thinking about buying a Treo smartphone since last December. My need is to have a phone that allows me to check my emails too in a proper manner. Also would enjoy listening to MP3, which I understand you need to install additional software on the 600 to do so but not sure about the result is equivalent to the built-in player of 650.

Did not buy a 600 knowing that the 650 was to be released early 2005.

Now my Sony Ericson T630 is dead and I need to buy it. Both models are now on offer here. The 600 @ $400, which seems a good deal and 650 @ $770, which is ... hard spending to digest... Still I can't decide. Buying the old one or the latest one...

After brownsing the net, it seems that the 600 has proved to be a bestseller whilst the 650 is said to have a few shortcomings for the extra $.

Appreciate your opinions.


by Jill | May 6, 2005 1:38:29 AM

My company just purchased 15,000 RIM devices based on this report. What are you talking about??? Palm is dying. They have overpriced, bloated hardware, buggy software, and just plain crappy stuff. Please. No more talk abou the TREO 650 being a market leader. You're starting to sound like those MAC fanatics. Sheesh. It's just hardware and technology.

by Peter | May 6, 2005 4:01:43 AM

Of course RIM sponsored the report :) That is the way Gratner works. I work ina different industry, but guess what - it doesn't matter which industry, it's all about the $$. If you want to look good in the reports, you've got to dish out $$.

by TazUk | May 6, 2005 10:04:24 AM

"My company just purchased 15,000 RIM devices based on this report."

Didn't you get hold of each product and make your own comparisons?

"They have overpriced, bloated hardware"

Er what's bloated hardware?

by Shahrum Amiri | May 6, 2005 2:28:49 PM

Yeah... this is just ridiculous:


Where are they getting their numbers? You know!!

by Tony | May 6, 2005 4:46:55 PM

My treo has worked in 9 countries in the last 90 days. While returning to the US from an International flight this week, there were 5 Blackberry's in seats adjacent to me and one additional Treo 650. The 4 gentlemen and one lady sporting the BB's were amazed at the number of things they couldn't do with the BB after seeing the Treo. The guy next to me owns a Treo (purchased with his own money), because his company only supports BB. He uses the BB for corporate Email (Good does this exceptionally on my Treo with it's GoodLink product) and uses his Treo for EVERYTHING else. RIM is very good at doing 1 thing, the Treo dominates at being tremendous at almost everything.
(I'm sorry, did that sound biased?)

by Andrew Davis | May 8, 2005 11:01:41 PM

You know, in every report there's always something missed. Its kind of like how all Linux users get pissed when a pro-Microsoft report comes out, but was sponsored by Microsoft. In each one, the people reading the report always see what *was missed or overlooked*. And with the recent Garnter report, they missed some goodies... totally aside from their failed definition of smartphone.

1) Treo only typically has one phone on the market at a time. Granted, right now the 650 and the 600 are out, but only the 650 is in production. Once current parts are used, the 600 won't be sold anymore, just as the previous Treo's aren't sold any longer.

This is in comparison to the Blackberry which has many different versions on the market at once. In the U.S. there are at least 4 or 5 different models sold, all of which fall into the typical clamshell style or the non-true-qwerty keyboard version, some of which offer PTT, others offer bluetooth, etc.

2) In the U.S. Blackberrys are sold by every single carrier. They are offered by Cingular, AT&T Wireless, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and even Nextel (in a PTT version).

In contrast, the Treo is only offered by Cingular, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Nextel doesn't offer the Treo because there is no PTT Treo available.

What does all this mean? What it means is actually quite significant: the Treo is offered by fewer carriers and has a limited number of versions, yet still outsells the Blackberry. The Treo has, at any single time, two versions (600 & 650) competing against 4 to 6 Blackberry models. And the Treo has stiffer competition by competing against a larger market opportunity since the Blackberry is offered by all major carriers, at least in the U.S., while the Treo is offered by fewer carriers. In my opinion, that makes the Treo the under dog (made even moreso by false and misleading market share reports such as those from Gartner)(though the Treo is by no means the under dog when it comes to functionality and available software). Yet the under dog is outselling the entrenched victor. Go figure...

by Karl | May 11, 2005 12:14:59 PM


If you call Verizon telesales at (800) 256-4646 TODAY 5/11/05 you CAN get them to order the Treo 650 for you. Be nice, shmooze, and they MAY say it is for business orders only, be nice, say you were told differently, and you CAN get them to OVERNIGHT IT to you TODAY! The cost is $501.71 - "full retail" and shipping is another $14 if you want it overnight. GO TREO GO!

by Scot | May 13, 2005 11:02:00 PM

I was waiting for the May 24 deadline like everybody else. But i just dialed *611 to talk to customer service and check if it was available. And it WAS! She said the release date was May 13. So I ordered one and I got a two year contract, which got my $100 off the phone. The phone total came to $330.99 with $13 dollars added for overnight shipping (which actually will not go out until monday and arrive on tuesday). The plans she offered me were, $0.015 per kB with airtime (pay as you go), $24.99 per 5 mB, or $44.99 for unlimited. The last two were without airtime. She also said that many people were ordering it as well. So i dont think that this is a huge secret. But I just thought I'd tell you.

Best Regards,


by Ron | May 16, 2005 4:56:27 PM

Does anyone know if there is a way to make the Verizon Treo 650 work as a dial-up?


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