Palm Targets Consumers with New Treo

By Anne Chen  |  Print this article Print


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The GSM-based Treo 680 smart phone, announced at Digital Life, is intended to increase Palm's market share.

NEW YORK—Palm announced on Oct. 12 the Treo 680, the first of the company's smart phones to specifically target the consumer market.

While Palm's smart phones are widely used within enterprises, this is the first Treo designed for a general audience. The Treo 680, released at the Digital Life trade show, also is the first Treo to have an internal antenna.

The new quad-band (850/900/1,800/1,900) phone will use GSM technology and run on GSM, GPRS and Edge Class 10 networks. The Treo 680 is intended to increase Palm's demographic and geographic market share, said Ed Colligan, president and CEO of Palm.

"With this product, we're trying to connect with more people around the world," Colligan said at the show. "We've been focused in the past on mobile professionals, on reaching IT people using [our products] in their business life. We hope this product will reach a more accessible group … and [will] benefit them personally as well as with their work usage."

Palm officials did not disclose the price of the Treo 680 or its availability. They did said that the smart phone will make its debut in the United States and will eventually be available worldwide.

GSM networks are widely used in Europe and Asia, and by the T-Mobile and Cingular carriers in the United States. While Colligan did not rule out the possibility of a CDMA-based phone, he said that CDMA networks are less common worldwide and may not make sense for the Treo 680.

The Treo 680, which runs the Palm operating system, is the first Treo with an internal antenna—a feature that will not reduce the device's reception, according to Palm officials.

Click here to read about Palm's Vodafone Treo deal in Europe.

The smart phone is powered by an Intel 312MHz processor and will have 64MB of user memory and 64MB of SDRAM.

The Treo 680 has a 320-by-320 TFT display and will support miniSD cards rather than the full-sized SD (Secure Digital) cards used by other Treos.

The smart phone—available in gray, orange, white and red —offers Bluetooth connectivity. The device does not have Wi-Fi capabilities and will not support Palm's Wi-Fi card.

Palm officials said the Treo 680 will deliver as much as 4 hours of talk time and 30 hours of standby time.

Senior Writer Anne Chen can be reached at anne_chen@ziffdavis.com

Check out eWEEK.com's for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.

As a senior writer for eWEEK Labs, Anne writes articles pertaining to IT professionals and the best practices for technology implementation. Anne covers the deployment issues and the business drivers related to technologies including databases, wireless, security and network operating systems. Anne joined eWeek in 1999 as a writer for eWeek's eBiz Strategies section before moving over to Labs in 2001. Prior to eWeek, she covered business and technology at the San Jose Mercury News and at the Contra Costa Times.

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