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Treo 2006 Product Pipeline Update

Two weeks ago in my post “Treo Family: More Babies Due in 2006?” I provided information based on an analyst report about the forthcoming Treo 700w running Windows Mobile, Treo 700p running PalmOS as well as two new mysteriously codenamed “Hollywood” and “Lowrider” Treo smartphones – the first being a high-end model and the second a mid-market one priced in the $200 to $300 range.

A recent investment report by Sagio Investments, one of the largest Palm shareholders, covers Palm’s current business strategy and more importantly provides more details on future Treo releases for 2006 below.

  • January 2006: Treo 700w (WM 5.0, ED-VO) exclusively from Verizon
  • January 2006: Treo 700p (Palm OS) exclusively from Sprint
  • March-May 2006: "Hollywood" - a fancier 3G/GSM smartphone without external antenna to appeal to European customers; in US likely to be launched by Cingular
  • March-May 2006: "Lowrider" - a sub-$300 device and entry-level PDA, compatible to previous-generation network radios

Specifically the report also states that “We know that PALM will introduce four new models in CY 06. In January they will introduce the already announced Treo 700 Windows which will be a Verizon exclusivity it will be the first EV-DO Treo on the market. Around the same time we believe PALM will launch a Treo 700p running PALM OS on the Sprint network, both devices will keep same form factor and will capitalize on the Treo strong foothold in the US enterprise Market.”

This is the first rumour that I have come across from a reputable source which points out that both new forthcoming Treo 700 models will keep the same form factor (below) with the only difference being the operating system which will be Windows Mobile on the first and PalmOS on the second and the differently labeled navigation buttons.

The other interesting thing is that the Treo codenamed “Hollywood” rumoured to have no external antenna (an absolute must for the European market because of design sensibilities) and also to be slimmer than our current Treo 650 (see below) appears to be aimed exclusively at the GSM market (with Cingular in the US market and probably Orange in the European one) and will finally also support 3G high-speed data connectivity.  An educated guess is that this model will be priced higher than our Treo 650 in the $700 to $800 (which I will more than happily pay when it becomes available because I have been yearning for an antenna-less Treo for some time).

Overall, it looks like each of the large US wireless carriers have placed their ‘Treo bets’ as will each have their own ‘signature’ Treo smartphone for an exclusive period of up to six months in 2006.  Verizon will have the CDMA 700w running Windows Mobile while Sprint will have the CDMA 700p running PalmOS and finally Cingular will have the new GSM Treo “Hollywood”.  Meanwhile, the mid-market Treo “Lowrider” may become a model that all carriers take on board to appeal to a wider market.

Separately, on the business side of things, highlights of Sagio’s investment research report include:

  • Smartphones represented 67% of revenues in 1Q06, growing 167% yoy. Palm also picked up market share in the US with 31% of the market second only to RIMM (55%). PALM had 11% of worldwide market share behind both RIMM (22%) and NOKIA (17%).
  • Palm's handheld market-share in the US is 61%
  • According to industry report the market for data enabled devices (Treo and Blackberry line) will grow tenfold by 2008 passing from an estimated 4 million devices to an estimated 40 million
  • Push Email is the first real killer-app for Smartphones and compares it to the introduction on of spreadsheets and Word for PC.
  • Palm has a competitive advantage because it can run the most Push email systems on the market
  • Palm has a very high chance to ship over 2.5 million Smartphones in fiscal 2006
  • They conclude that Palm's stock valuation is currently "cheap" and compare it's price to Apple Computer's before the company introduced the iPod line
  • Based on their valuation model, P/E is below 10
  • PDA business is still very profitable and Palm is gaining market share
  • Palm has innovation edge -> first hdd-based PDA (LifeDrive)
  • Palm has a "quasi monopoly" on Palm OS handhelds
  • Palm is closing in on smartphone business only behind RIM and Nokia
  • Palm is growing faster than the overall market
  • Treo 650 is leading smartphone today
  • Demand for "data enabled devices" will grow tenfold by 2008
  • Microsoft-Palm "Treo 700" deal will help Palm to gain market share in Europe
  • Push e-mail technology may soon become available to Palm
  • Palm has a promising product pipeline
  • Analysts are wrong, because of: incorrect estimates on Treo sales, wrong margin estimates

Palm is cheap, says investor [MobileRead]
Treo 700p, Hollywood, Lowrider Treos Coming Next Year [Palm Infocenter]

Note: if someone has a copy of the original Sagio PDF report which is no longer available online could you please email it to me at treonauts[at]pobox.com. Thanks!

Treonauts cannot wait for 2006 to arrive…


Posted by Andrew on November 25, 2005 at 09:25 AM

Treo 700p , Treo Windows Mobile , Treo Zen Preview

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Comments

1
by ppcmd | Nov 25, 2005 12:21:25 PM

I recall reading the article when it was announced, but didn't think much of it at the time so I didn't d/l it. Personally Palm could use some good press these days but I do see why they are ticked off at one of their "major investors" letting the cat out of the bag. Sent what I had.

2
by Carlos | Nov 25, 2005 12:37:13 PM

Andrew, I read your story and you cover most of the facts but I notice you repeatedly mention the Windows Mobile version has EV-DO while you never mention it with the 700p version from Sprint. Is this just an overlooked omission or will the 700p not have EV-DO contrary to what most of us have speculated?

3
by ppcmd | Nov 25, 2005 4:24:33 PM

While it isn't mentioned in the article or info from Sagio one has to take the leap that for the Treo 700p to have any real market appeal it must include EV-DO, otherwise why would anyone buy it. Also if it truly does share the same design and internals (screen aside) then it would also make sense.

4
by s.elements | Nov 25, 2005 9:40:25 PM

@_@...

What IS the screen situation with the upcoming 700? I think I remember reading that it's resolution would be lower than our 650, but I can't be sure.

5
by nonobeez | Nov 25, 2005 10:50:44 PM

Search for "Palm_SAGIO_Research.pdf" on google and at the bottom, you will see an invalid link to the pdf file.... BUT select "view as HTML" and you get what you want! Well, almost.

I hope we can at least talk about the document here... not like other sites!!!

6
by s.elements | Nov 26, 2005 5:10:44 AM

Cool tip, nonobeez!

7
by s.elements | Nov 26, 2005 5:12:32 AM

Hey Andrew-unrelated question for ya: Does PdaNet work with Sprint Treos? I have the program, but have been at a loss as to getting it to work. Any tips would be appreciated.

8
by Blue212 | Nov 26, 2005 11:32:53 AM

Could someone please help fill me on what is truly going to be new with the 700p vs the 650. What advantages/additions does the new Palm OS have? What other enhancements will the 700p contain? I'm still faithfully using a T600 and contemplating upgrading soon. Should I wait for the 700p or go with the 650?
Thanks

9
by spud | Nov 26, 2005 1:20:01 PM

What OS will run on the Hollywood, Windows or PalmOS?

10
by Mort | Nov 26, 2005 2:20:26 PM

well nobody has any 100% accurate deets on the 700p so to say when it will be released or what features it will have wouldn't make much sense. the best info we have is that it will be similar to the specs of the 700w, except for the screen which should remain 320x320 (it isn't on the 700w because WinMo5 doesn't support that resolution).

11
by Leo B | Nov 26, 2005 3:29:24 PM

Andrew, I know this is a bit of a strecth, but help me out:
My VZW contract is up this January, and I planned on getting a Treo 650 from them -don't plan on leaving VZW, since I love their service and get a corporate discount on plans.

However, with the news on the new Treo 700w, do you think (that's the stretch I mentioned earlier ;)) VZW might do a price drop on their current 650?

Great site, lots of good info!

12
by ppcmd | Nov 26, 2005 4:41:23 PM

Too bad Palm couldn't make 320*320 part of their special OS tweaks, but ultimately it would also cause other issues for developers.

13
by Mort | Nov 26, 2005 9:50:10 PM

sure I imagine they'll lower the price on the 650 a bit when the 700 comes out. same w/ Sprint on the 700p. I'd get a 700p though. I really hope Sprint does indeed get the 700p. best of both worlds. EV-DO and Palm OS!

14
by Artem | Nov 27, 2005 10:57:49 AM

Hi A,
I was wondering if you would know if the 700p would be released also as an unlocked gsm model, ir completely sprint exclusive. Also, I am a student and I was wondering if you believe there will be some trade up program? I would really appreciate a response. Thanks,

Artem

15
by FireFox31 | Nov 27, 2005 3:22:07 PM

I'm furious that Verizon won't have the 700p for 6 more months. The 700p would be my first to avoid buying the old 650. When the 700w comes out, I bet Vz will stop selling the 650. Forced to buy the old 650 now, or keep my StarTac 7868W and my disorganized life. Who at Vz do I write to complain?? Who at Treonauts do I bribe to hack PalmOS on the w??

16
by Leo B | Nov 27, 2005 6:18:39 PM

FireFox31, VZW still offered the Treo 600 as late as a few weeks ago. I would definitely think the 650 will still be around for a good while.

I am seriously thinking (and struggling too, as I used the Treo 650 for a little while a job and really loved having a Palm and phone in one, plus all the media capabilities, made it just sweet) of waiting a bit longer (past March 06 maybe?) to see if VZW lowers the price of the 650.

One can dream, right?

17
by Blake Washington | Nov 28, 2005 1:38:37 PM

Will Cingular's "Hollywood" be way better/worse than Sprint's Treo 700p? I am debating between Sprint/Cingular... or is there even a comparison in service??

18
by Paul Santora | Nov 29, 2005 11:31:20 AM

I wonder if it would be possible to get the 700w from Verizon and load the Palm OS from the 700p on it...

That would be great!

Am I barking up the wrong tree?

19
by Leo B | Nov 29, 2005 6:01:26 PM

Blake W: you're asking us to REALLY especulate here, as neither a 700p or a "Hollywood" yet exist.
Let's try a model that we can actually use and compare.

Paul: not possible, you can't just change an OS for a PDA like that, specially going from the WM5 to the Palm OS.

20
by Blake Washington | Nov 29, 2005 7:22:39 PM

Leo: That's great. I love speculation! Okay. According to Andrew, and Palm, whom I called and confirmed there will be a new Treo in the first quarter of '06. I just want to know what other Treonauts think about Cingular's new Treo and if will be the same. I am currently under Sprint. I hope I am not getting the bad end of the deal because I have a certain service. I don't want to be left out of what other carriers offer their customers. Do you think Cingular will have a better Treo than Sprint does?

21
by Steve Packard | Nov 29, 2005 9:23:58 PM

Will the 700p support EVDO? And will it be avaliable for verizion? Or possibly could it be converted to verizion service?

The reason I am asking is this: I have a Treo 650 right now with Sprint and I have no intention of buying a Windows based phone. My primary reason for wanting to upgrade would be the possibility of higher-speed EVDO service, which would be great for web surfing and amazing for multimedia.

While I've always loved Sprint, their EVDO service is almost non-existant last time I checked. Verizion has rolled out some major EVDO coverage and has my area covered well. Verizion definately has a big head start over Sprint in the deployment of EVDO and it will be a long time before Sprint (or anyone) has anything to compair to Verizion's high speed data network in terms of the geographic area it covers.

-Steve

22
by Blake Washington | Nov 29, 2005 10:24:33 PM

WHAT EXACTLY IS EV-DO???

23
by Mort | Nov 30, 2005 4:40:05 AM

Blake: EV-DO is Evolution Data-optimized. (or some such) and is essentially much faster data speeds for phones. 300-500Kbps I'm talking.

and Sprint is rolling out EV-DO pretty rapidly, it is better since the last time you checked, I promise.

24
by Blake Washington | Nov 30, 2005 2:06:50 PM

Mort: Thanks. That was very helpful.

25
by hpspringer | Dec 3, 2005 1:26:48 PM

Being a long time Palm User (since the first Palm III came out). I just started looking for a Treo 650; however, since my Cingular contract was extended just 6 months ago for 2 years, I've lost out on any price breaks. The best "trustworthy" source I found was $549 plus shipping, and Cingular has been $ 599.

Just stopped in a a local Cingular store and they were offering new 650 with new 64k sims card for $499 plus $100 rebate WITHOUT a new contract.

MAYBE this is the beginning of a price reduction!

Just found your site, thanks for all the info available.

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