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Handspring and Sprint developing CDMA Treo

Tue Mar 19, 2002 - 10:10 AM EST - By Marcus Adolfsson

Handspring and Sprint today announced an agreement to work together on a new CDMA version of the Handspring Treo communicator that will operate on Sprint's Third Generation Network, which is expected to launch nationwide mid-2002. The product will be co-branded and jointly marketed by Sprint and Handspring. The companies plan to sell the product initially through Sprint's wireless distribution channels and on Handspring.com beginning this summer.

Sprint will be the exclusive CDMA carrier for the Treo device for an unspecified time frame.

Sprint and Handspring will work closely together to create national marketing campaigns, distribution and channel programs, and customer service and support plans. The joint efforts will be designed to educate customers about the distinct features and functionality of the new Palm OS-based integrated product and 3G capabilities of Sprint's network to create the best possible customer experience.

Sprint's 3G network will allow Treo devices to have always-on access at a maximum speed of 144 kbps.

Handspring Chief Operating Officer Ed Colligan said, "This agreement with Sprint is a hallmark for Handspring as we establish momentum with our Treo communicators. Sprint's expertise in developing and deploying state-of-the-art network technologies is a strong match for our innovative approach to communications products. We have a shared vision of what communicators should do for people, and a shared commitment to making rapid progress in the category."

"Our relationship with Handspring will enable Sprint to offer another compelling product in the category of converged wireless devices that is also compatible with our Third Generation Network," said John Garcia, senior vice president, sales and distribution, Sprint's PCS division. "We are working together to develop a compact yet full-featured CDMA version of the Treo that appeals to customers that want a smart device that meets both their voice and data needs."

Treo combines a phone, and wireless applications like Internet browsing, email and messaging, and a Palm OS organizer into a single compact device - one of the smallest products in its category. Sprint will integrate its suite of business solutions and products into the new CDMA version of the Treo, including Sprint PCS Business Connection Personal Edition.

It will also be designed to take advantage of Sprint's Third Generation Network, which is expected to launch nationwide in mid-2002, providing faster connections and greater bandwidth for data applications. The companies will disclose information regarding specific product features, capabilities and pricing when the product is ready for launch this summer.

"Sprint continues to offer one of the richest and most technologically advanced selection of devices, along with the clarity of an all-digital network that uses the same technology nationwide," said Jay Highley, vice president, business marketing, Sprint's PCS division. "With the enhanced speeds and capabilities of 3G, this smart device is positioned to be a critical tool—whether it's to boost productivity as part of a Sprint PCS Clear Wireless Workplace® solution, or to simply help manage everyday transactions, schedules and sharing of information with friends and family."

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