After unveiling Wednesday that it plans to directly compete against rivals such as RIM (Researchers In Motion), manufacturer of the Blackberry, there is speculation about Palm's lack of an agreement with U.S. carriers. How does this transpond to us, the U.S. buyers? Read on.
The fact that the Treo Pro comes unlocked does away with the carrier specific deals, such as the Centro which can be purchased for $319.99, minus $150.00 for entering into a 2-year contract with AT&T and then mailing in a $100.00 rebate form - which nets you the Centro for $69.99. An awesome deal! Now, since the phone can be purchased elsewhere and is unlocked, there is no incentive for AT&T to lure you into the deal. With the Treo Pro, this leaves you paying $549 for a phone which, while it may be awesome, still means you're paying a LOT for features that are available on less pricey smartphones.
When questioned about the pricing and planned partnership with Microsoft, Keast replied:
"We've chosen to partner with Microsoft to compete effectively with RIM," said Brodie Keast, Palm senior vice president for marketing, but he added that there was plenty of room for both companies to grow in the smartphone market.
"Even with the growth in this market, 90 percent of the market doesn't have a smartphone. It doesn't make sense to fight over the 10 percent," said Keast in a telephone interview. "We want to reach out to people who don't have a smartphone, not people who already love RIM."
Some of the Palm Treo's strongpoints are its flush touch screen, its overall thinness, WiFi capability, and a 1500 mAh battery (yes, even in this form factor - which is tauted to be the thinnest Treo to date). So, it remains to be seen just how willing folks will be to fork out the extra money for the Treo Pro - when there is quite a number of other, basically equally capable smartphones available.
I, for one, sure hope Palm pulls it off!
[via The Channel Wire]