Oh so European
Palm is back in Europe - and it's flaunting the new Treo to prove it.
The steel blue device, the Treo 750v, is Palm's first 3G smart phone for the continent and will be available in the UK and eight other countries from October.
The 750v, which runs on Windows Mobile 5.0, includes the usual applications - Excel, IE Mobile, PowerPoint and Word, as well as a 1.3 megapixel camera and SMS 'threading', which represents SMSes in a 'conversation' style format.
The device will be available exclusively with Vodafone for three months. Ed Colligan, Palm's CEO, said the tie-up was a "relationship building opportunity". He added: "This is certainly something we've dreamed about for a long time."
The first Windows Mobile Palm device was made available in the US late last year with US operator Verizon Wireless, which is part owned by Vodafone.
The operator will be promoting the smart phone to business travellers and IT professionals in particular. According to a Vodafone spokesman, interest is already high and pre-orders have been taken.
The phone will cost between nothing and £150, dependent on contract, with email available at a £10 per month subscription.
Vodafone users of the device will be able to get both Vodafone's own brand push email, as well as syncing up with Microsoft Exchange. Vodafone will also begin offering proprietary device management services for Treo users.
According to Ben Wood, director at Collins Consulting, the new Treo has been given a tangibly Old World spin.
He said: "There are some noticeably cosmetic changes - the removal of the antenna for example - that are a big step forward for the European market. In the US, the users there [where the Treo dominates the market] are far less fashion conscious."
However, the device will be competing with a number of new entrants to the smart phone market who are promising better-looking and thinner business devices, including the Motorola Q and RIM's latest, the BlackBerry Pearl.
Wood noted: "It's still a niche product in an amazingly vibrant space."
Photo credit: Palm