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Predictions for Treo in 2004

Sat Jan 3, 2004 - 6:38 PM EST - By Michael Ducker

Treo Business

Sprint PCS�s exclusive rights to sell the CDMA Treo 600 should end shortly, and sometime before summer Verizon will pick up the Treo 600. (Readers may recall that Sprint financed a large portion of the Treo 300 development. In return they got exclusive rights to it. For the Treo 600, there have been no public deals about Sprint financing Handspring, thus their rights to the device have been limited). There is no doubt that Verizon has seen the strong sales of the Treo 600, and the petition that was sent to them did indeed get a response. However, I was relayed an anecdote from an EVDO launch party in California, in which a Verizon executive was showed a Treo 600 and hadn�t even heard about it! The Treo 600 will then become the first smartphone on every major network in the US.

Speaking of new fast networks (EVDO, EDGE), a Treo update will be released, perhaps via a software update (I am unsure if this is possible), or in the fall with the hardware update, that will be able to use the new EDGE network that is being launched nationwide by AT&T. EDGE is a true 3G technology that has speeds on average of 100-130 kbps, with burst rates of up to 200 kbps. There are several cities around the country that have test rollouts of the technology available from different providers. The Treo is a perfect mobile device for faster data speeds.

In the thread that started these predictions, people commented on the future of the Tungsten W. Some users noted that the Tungsten W would be upgraded and released as a data centric Treo model. When Handspring and Palm merged, that was my initial thought, but after further reflection I do not feel that this will be the case. All PDA�s are becoming more wireless, and thus more data centric. The proliferation of 802.11 and Bluetooth is the perfect example of this. I feel that the Tungsten W is more of a Tungsten C with a �real� wireless connection. It acts as a PDA, and does not fit in the smartphone group at PalmOne. Therefore, I think the product will be updated, but it will be upgraded to the same technology and form factors that run the other PalmOne PDAs.

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