Palm returned this week with an announcement that definitely had the world of Treo buzzing.
Palm, Microsoft and Vodafone announced plans to launch a new GSM Treo by the end of the year on Vodafone's European networks. The Treo will run Windows Mobile and have a 3G/UMTS radio. This new Treo smartphone will be available first to Vodafone customers in multiple European countries, including the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and Netherlands, before the end of the calendar year.
During the week there was a smorgasbord of Treo-related stories that hit. And, for the first time in a really long time, there were no 700p, 700w or Motorola Q reviews. However, Rob Peforaro of The Washington Post spoke fondly about his Treo 650 in his recent "Personal Tech" column (registration required).
Without further ado, let's talk Treo!
Talkin' Smartphones in General The newspaper of Silicon Valley, the Mercury News, had a story (registration required) on Monday about smartphones.
"Why are smart-phone makers wooing the mainstream? Analysts say they drool at the thought of putting smart-phones into the hands of the estimated 200 million U.S. cell phone users, only 2.2 percent of whom currently own smart-phones, according to research firm Telephia.
�These are gold rush days for this kind of business,' said Page Murray, vice president of marketing for Palm. �Roughly 2 percent of e-mail boxes are mobile. We all know it's going to be much more.'"
Smartphone Killer Ap? M-Content This announcement comes as no surprise. According to a recent report from M:Metrics, "Contrary to popular belief, those carrying these powerful devices (smartphones) are not using them exclusively for productivity applications, but are also using them to view mobile video, play mobile games and listen to mobile music in addition to using them for personal e-mail and wireless Web access."
The release also includes this factoid:
"At two percent penetration, the U.S. lags Western Europe in Smart-phone ownership. Britain tops France and Germany, at 6.6 percent market adoption. All the top three devices in France, Germany and the United Kingdom are Nokia devices. The Palm Treo is the smart device of choice for Americans, followed by the BlackBerry."
Here's a rundown of subscribers in the U.S. (period ending 31 May 2006):
"The Sony Ericsson HBH-IV835 Headset is the perfect headset for users that are already comfortable with in-ear headphones and are looking for a good Bluetooth headset for their Treo or other mobile phone. Although a little pricey, it's a great headset for people that wear glasses. However, it's not for active users as the headset could easily get bumped off."
The author discusses the "surprising array of useful clocks that do a lot more than tell time" that are available for the Treo 700w. He notes that some include slide shows, timers, world clocks, and more. This story includes brief sampling of a few of his favorites.
News & Reviews from Elsewhere in the Treo Community
SplashData Introduces 15 Must Have Travel Tools SplashData, a leading provider of personal productivity software for smartphones, announced that its newest product offering, SplashTravel, is now available for Palm and Treo users. SplashTravel delivers fifteen different travel tools in one integrated application. SplashTravel enables smartphone users to create packing lists, check time differences between cities, track expenses, convert currencies, look up area codes, and much more. SplashTravel is available now for an introductory price of $19.95 and can be purchased via SplashData's Web site.
iambic Releases TinySheet 5 TinySheet ($19.95), iambic's full-featured, Excel-like, stand-alone spreadsheet program that is optimized for Palm OS handhelds and smartphones, is directly compatible with Microsoft Excel and offers direct synchronization with Excel worksheets on a Windows PC. It features 113 spreadsheet functions and comes with the illustrative charting capabilities of TinyChart.
New Golf Program for Your Treo Karrier Communications, leaders in 'Sports Enhancing Software,' announced the shipment of its new IntelliGolf� version 8.0 software for Treos and other Palm OS-based handhelds. IntelliGolf version 8.0 adds support for hybrid clubs, GPS data entry using popular GPS viewers (e.g. Google Earth), GPS Auto-Fill�, more wagering games, and improved synchronization.
By the way, the release also states that IntelliGolf is the #1 selling "Golf Scoring and GPS Software" for Palm handhelds, Pocket PCs, and Smartphones in 125 countries worldwide. IntelliGolf is immediately available from here. SRP: $29.95-$49.95.
Brighthand Checks Out Two Fortte Leather Cases AlanG at Brighthand had this to say about the Fortte Treo 700p Open Face Case and the Fortte Treo 700p STiL Vertical Pouch:
"All Fortte's cases are functional and attractive. When ordering from the Fortte online store, you are able to choose how you wish to personalize your case by choosing from the many colors options (solids and two tones) and one of the three belt clip options (fixed clip, swivel clip, and none). These cases can be had at reasonable prices and their style alone speaks towards their high quality.
Freeware Fun - Video Jigsaw Sion Phillips at Mytreo.net posted a review that states, "Video Jigsaw is small, free, and great fun. It should be on everyone's Treo."
"Combining cutting-edge technology and sleek design, the ultra-light and comfortable Plantronics Discovery 640 wireless headset features an innovative charging system that is perfect for road warriors or commuters."
In a related item, Engadget Mobile had some interesting comments about Palm's new Ultralight Wireless Headset:
"Looks like the folks over at Palm aren't trying to fool anyone with their new Treo accessory: the Ultralight Wireless Headset is a faintly disguised Plantronics 645.
The inclusion of DSP solidified the notion that this was indeed the Plantronics 645 underneath and not the 640, but clarity isn't the only thing going for it. Other noteworthy aspects of the Ultralight are its sleek metal carrying case, the ability to charge it using your Treo's AC adapter, and even, um, a Palm-branded call/end button."
Tweak Your Jabra: Andrew at Treonauts provides advice on how to make the Jabra JX10 Bluetooth headset fit better.
Endnotes & Ponderables
101 Uses for a Cell Phone... Okay, not exactly. But this story caught my eye and is perhaps a harbinger of things to come.
Feeling Lucky? Stuart Elliott of The New York Times wrote a story (registration required) about a new campaign Lucky magazine is doing in September that offers its readers a chance to buy merchandise from 18 marketers and retailers via text message.
Participating retailers include: Avon, Liz Claiborne, Est�e Lauder, L'Or�al, Target and Unilever. The program, which is called "Live Buy It," uses a service from the PayPal unit of eBay known as PayPal Mobile Text2Buy (chosen because in a survey of Lucky readers, 83 percent said they were familiar with PayPal).
Right now, I'm a bit skeptical about "Live Buy It." However, I do believe that the proposed variation of it that's slated for December, called "Text to Try" (which makes trial sizes available) will be much more successful. Guess time will tell.
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