Handspring Unveils Next-Gen Treo
The Treo 600 series, announced on the opening day of the CeBIT America trade show, also represents a dramatic design departure from previous versions of the critically acclaimed and popular handheld. Instead of a flip-up gray clamshell, a Treo 600 has the design of a silvery candy bar. It is, however, noticeably wider than most contemporary cell phones of this style, in order to accommodate the integrated QWERTY thumb keyboard.
Expected to ship this fall in both CDMA and GSM/GPRS versions, the Treo
600 is based on
Handspring says the Treo 600's keyboard is more ergonomic than those on
earlier Treos. Users can assign keys to launch not just programs but specific
program functions (such as opening a designated spreadsheet). Treo 600 devices
will also feature a new version of the
Carriers determine the cell phone's pricing, but a Treo 600 should cost no more than the current top-of-the-line Treo 300 does today, says Brian Jaquet, a Handspring spokesperson. That model is priced at $500 on Sprint's Web site.
Sprint will offer the CDMA version of the Treo 600 and the European carrier Orange will market a GSM/GPRS version, Jaquet says. Handspring is also discussing distribution arrangements with other carriers.
The Treo 600 should represent a strong competitor to Samsung's I600,
which Sprint is
The I600 is a clamshell that has no keyboard, allowing it to be much narrower than the Treo. When flipped shut, the I600 is significantly shorter, although a bit thicker. However, the I600 is based on version 4 of the Palm operating system, uses a much less powerful processor than the Treo 600, and lacks the SD expansion slot present on most newer Palms. So far, Samsung has not announced plans for a GSM/GPRS version of the I600.