Are Treos the traveler's preferred device?

Summary:The Palm Treo is an extremely popular converged device and as one travels through airports you can see many of these in the hands of business people. Can Windows Mobile and Symbian OS get to be as common as a Treo on the road?

I just returned from a short business trip to New Orleans and while traveling in the airport and on the airplanes I saw many mobile devices. The funny thing is that something like 95% of the devices I saw and heard (that default ring is distinctive) were Treo devices. I personally had a Treo 650 for well over a year and loved most everything about the device, except for the phone quality. Seeing all these Treo devices set off the new device urge again and got me to thinking about a Treo 700p with the fast Sprint EVDO service. I use T-Mobile, but adding the Sprint EVDO service isn't that costly and the ability to get such fast wireless service has me seriously thinking about the move. I don't know when T-Mobile will ever get their HSDPA or UMTS service up and running and all the talk of high speed EVDO access has me itching to get connected.

I briefly checked out a Treo 700p and liked the device for the most part and particularly enjoy the way that Palm OS devices sync to Macs. My only current Palm OS device is an older Tungsten T3 that I use for review purposes and I have to honestly state I am a bit leery of the future of Palm OS and agree with David that PalmSource/ACCESS (or whatever the current Palm OS development company is called) will have to make some major updates to compete in today's mobile world.

It seems that most of the traveler's I saw using Treos were using Treo 650 devices so I think there is definitely still a market for Palm OS devices. I also believe these same type of buyers may enjoy using a device like the Nokia E61 that offers a similar user interface (and isn't sold with a Microsoft operating system), but supports higher functions like true multitasking, quick application switching, integrated WiFi and more. Nokia and the Series 60/Symbian OS need to do a better job of getting devices into the U.S. and marketing these devices to compete with the BlackBerry and Treo business user before I see Nokia E61 type devices on the road. My move from the Treo 650 to the Nokia E61 was based on the fact that I added integrated WiFi, much better stability, and better phone functionality with the E61.

Topics: Microsoft


Matthew Miller started using mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host, with ZDNet's Kevin Tofel, of the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned more than 2... Full Bio

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