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Comments on: Treo 600 Leads in Carrier Data Revenue

PalmSource today announced that the Treo 600 smartphone has delivered twice the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) than the average mobile phone for leading mobile operator Orange.
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Chicken or Egg

DWD @ 2/17/2004 10:24:44 AM #
Do high volume users buy smartphones? Or, do smartphones make people higher volume users? If the latter, it is a good argument for *maybe* giving away the smartphones as a loss-leader and recouping your money and making additional profits down the line!

RE: Chicken or Egg
ander80 @ 2/17/2004 11:01:04 AM #
i think is the chicken, hence, the former

Ander Zabala, MSc Student
RE: Chicken or Egg
SeldomVisitor @ 2/17/2004 11:02:55 AM #
The TREO 600 is expensive.

People with money buy expensive things.

People with money do expensive things.

By looking at TREO 600 owners, one is filtering the entire owner set to "people with money".


RE: Chicken or Egg
Edward Green @ 2/17/2004 11:59:22 AM #
This is Orange. In Europe the Treo 600 is not expensive. In fact you can get it on contract for next to nothing. So it already is a loss leader.

Edward Green
--
http://www.khite.co.uk
RE: Chicken or Egg
conflagrare @ 2/17/2004 2:03:32 PM #
I think it's the egg.
Those US Sprint users get unlimited data for like a ridiculous $10 or something like that. And then they discover programs like Pocket Tunes which streams radio music from the web, and then they turn it on 24 hours a day. what do you expect?

check that, conflagre
nrosser @ 2/17/2004 3:39:23 PM #
Actually, conflagre, if you think of your post, there's a built in contradiction in it: Since we US Sprint users (yes, I'm one) do have the ridiculously low all we can eat data price of $10 flat rate, doing the streaming PockeTunes thing doesn't increase our monthly bill. So - it can't be said that doing the streaming radio deal increases our bill, given that we do indeed have the flat rate pricing (which is most yummy, I have to say). (yes, there've been reports of Sprint nabbing data hogs and smacking them with some other fee, but your point was that streaming radio made our bills go up. Not so)

I will say though, that I do have about a 4 year history with wireless Palm data usage, and it's been interesting to see how the bills have changed over time. I initially got going with Omnisky (remember them?), and had a flat rate gig for like $35, since I was part of their original beta group. I also had a cell phone via AT&T Wireless that I think averaged around $150 to $185. So that total was about $200 a month. When the Kyocera 6035 came out, I jumped to that device, and dumped the Omnisky/PalmVx combo. The carrier I selected was Verizon. At that time (early 2001), the concept of all you can eat data didn't exist in the minds of the carriers. So my VZW data usage came out of my cell minutes, and because of that, I got a big honkin' ton of 'em - 2000 anytime minutes, which back then ran about $200. And since I was used to unlimited surfing with that Omnisky, my first month's bill was like $600 (!!). Well, that stopped right away, and I had to seriously dial back my usage. Still, though, my bill averaged like $250 per month. Yikes.
When Sprint came out with the 300 (nice color screen, compared to the 6035), and the all I can eat data, and a good bucket of minutes - 2000 min, unlim data - all for like $100 a month, I was all over that. And I now have a 600, with the same plan, and unlimited surfing, etc. Yes, I can stream PockeTunes, but I don't do it all that often. I do use the heck outta the data capability though - I equate my 600 and Sprint's data plan to having DSL (ok, maybe a slower DSL) in my hands at all times. It's just there. I don't have to think about it.

So - the net here is that my functionality has increased over time, and, compared to my previous Verizon charges, my cost has gone down by more than half. Maybe I'm unique in that I got in early, but I like that the cost is lower than what it used to be.

RE: Chicken or Egg
gfunkmagic @ 2/17/2004 6:31:16 PM #
IMO this makes sense. From my experience Treo600 users tend to have higher minute plans and are more likely to use premium services like picture mail, Biz Connection (Sprint), and other data services. Add features like the Zodiac based PTT as Orange is doing and future Blackberry Client support, and you have a very lucrative user base... now if PalmOne could get it's act together and manufacture enough of these babies to meet demand! *sigh*

I support http://Tapland.com/

--------------------
GNM

RE: Chicken or Egg
drw @ 2/17/2004 7:11:46 PM #
I wanted bluetooth/wifi/hirez so I dumped sprint and got a SE T610 with tmobile. For an extra $5/month I have more than tripled my anytime minutes (to 1000 from 300) and have unlimited t-zones internet which is enough for me to satisfy two key wait-states: sitting on the john and waiting in line. With WIFI both at home and work I got a Tungsten C and love the speed. While I was initially excited by the treo 600, there was no way I was paying $599 for 160x160, no bluetooth, and a cramped keyboard. When I'm done accessorizing I will have spent more than $599, but oh well.

---
David
RE: Chicken or Egg
conflagrare @ 2/17/2004 10:58:57 PM #
Opps... misread the article... thought it was most bandwidth, not most revenue.

not surprised.....

John Pahl @ 2/17/2004 11:08:39 AM #
- my bill for that month was about UK pounds 140! But data services were actually a small part of that - the largest were the international roaming calls back to UK orange help line to get email & voice mail working!

RE: not surprised.....
drw @ 2/17/2004 7:23:25 PM #
Wouldn't it be cheaper to use local pre-paid sims with an unlocked phone instead of paying international roaming?

---
David
RE: not surprised.....
John Pahl @ 2/18/2004 10:45:01 AM #
My fault really - Orange do a deal where if you pay a small amount up front you get big discount on roaming calls. I was just too busy getting ready for the trip to arrange it.

And email worked fine when I switch to the Versamail client.

RE: not surprised.....
JonathanChoo @ 2/18/2004 12:44:12 PM #
Orange = expensive
T-Mobile = Non-Existence
Vodafone = rip-off
o2 = Cheap but has less cool phones

I am on o2 actually, got my ol' T610 for free in August and pay 25 fixed a month (0.5k GPRS, 500Wap, 550 minutes off) plus about 10 overtime. Wap is real slow still with 500 mins its useful and I can dial o2's wap dialup number instead of a 0870 ISP number, Palminfocenter Mobile version takes about 10-20 seconds to load.

---
Current gadgets: Palm Tungsten T3, Sony Ericsson T630, Minolta DiMage E323, AMD2700+, 1Gb DDR400, nForce2, R9800Pro

RE: not surprised.....
John Pahl @ 2/18/2004 12:53:50 PM #
I had something similar - a SE T68i on O2 which used with Palm via BT but the convenience and wow factor of Trio 600 made me switch to Orange - and no regrets. Great machine.

RE: not surprised.....
JonathanChoo @ 2/18/2004 2:09:29 PM #
How much do they charge you for local international calls? I think Orange might be the first (or only?) to release an updated Treo 6xx and I might just switch if o2 does not offer and PalmOS phones on my next yearly contract renewal. Their current darling is the xda II (which really is a great PDA phone - but ugly!).

---
Current gadgets: Palm Tungsten T3, Sony Ericsson T630, Minolta DiMage E323, AMD2700+, 1Gb DDR400, nForce2, R9800Pro
RE: not surprised.....
John Pahl @ 2/19/2004 7:41:23 AM #
Sorry can't remember. But had equally large international roaming bills from O2. I learnt the hard way to always enable key locking!

I don't like the look of the xda II - ugly, and I really like the keyboard on the smaller Treo - ideal for texting. Also Microsoft os devices typically have lower battery life which is really important when you rely on mobile phone / PDA. Its the tamagochi problem.

I used to have a BT headset but got rid of it with bought Treo. To be honest I didn't find it ideal - battery life only 3 days and yet another widget to carry around and remember to recharge. Also unless headset is always on your ear (which looks wierd and falls off) there's a rush to attach it when phone goes. And if the Treo does everything there's less of a need for connectivity.

Key point with the Treo 600 is you only need to carry one device! But 320x320 screen would be nice.

RE: not surprised.....
JonathanChoo @ 2/20/2004 9:48:38 AM #
Does the Treo 600 has key locking feature? I once got charged 60 when my T68m got accidentally dialled to Malaysia. That was before I also learned to use auto key-lock the hard way...

---
Current gadgets: Palm Tungsten T3, Sony Ericsson T630, Minolta DiMage E323, AMD2700+, 1Gb DDR400, nForce2, R9800Pro
RE: not surprised.....
John Pahl @ 2/20/2004 2:50:26 PM #
Yes - single key press and also timer automatically switches treo off after about 30 seconds - a good thing as it helps save battery

Only if I can get it here in Hong Kong

phantomo @ 2/17/2004 11:09:53 AM #
Availability is zero here in Hong Kong. I have many friends waited and finally gave up waiting. They switched to O2 xda II.

Only if they can churn out more units, it will do better to the carriers.

Why the Treo 600 will fail

;-) @ 2/18/2004 12:33:34 AM #
The Treo 600 is an interesting, thoughtful design, but it's doomed to fail:

1) It's too big

2) It's poorly made (quality control has been atrocious so far)

3) It's fragile (a phone that can't survive a small impact is essentially useless in the real world)

4) Palm is too small/slow to redesign an improved version fast enough

5) It's too expensive in North America

6) It's not available in large numbers due to Palm's financial limitations

7) It is a bad phone - voice quality and speakerphone are inferior to many cheap "real" cellphones

8) It will be quickly surpassed by less expensive, better-constructed designs from traditional pnone manufacturers

9) Palm lacks any clout with the carriers and is out of its league competing with the likes of cutthroat Nokia

10) It cannot overcome the classic PDA/Phone conundrum: A good phone is small, inexpensive and easily replaced; a good PDA has a large color screen with an easy method of data entry. Convergence is ultimately limited by physical size


Palm bet the farm on the Treo lineup (they didn't exactly have a choice, since PDA sales are about to crash + burn). Unfortunately, their saviour has feet of clay.



It's just too big.

RE: Why the Treo 600 will fail
;-) @ 2/18/2004 12:57:27 AM #
On the other hand, the Treo could have made a kick a$$ wireless PDA with a little miniaturization, and a bigger screen high res ...


It's just too big.

RE: Why the Treo 600 will fail
RhinoSteve @ 2/18/2004 1:56:30 AM #
You don't know the cell phone market very well. This has winner all over it. I'll bet my farm and then take your farm when you loose it.

This is creating a new class of product. To think it is going to replace or even compete with cheap SMS cell phones you have your demographics's really off.

The Treo is what's called a "9 to 5" phone that is mostly used by white collar professionals that only want one item instead "Duo" of PDA and cell phone. Those with money who are organized and not so accident prone will use smart phones and not construction works nor drunk club chics.

In fact, smartphones represent the fastest growing segment of cell phone market. Smartphones have great potential to make revenue while the rest of the cell phone market is getting slim in margins. Most of all, no more screwed up 10 key SMS writing.

Go to the CTIA show in Atlanta this month, you will learn a lot.

RE: Why the Treo 600 will fail
John Pahl @ 2/18/2004 5:11:13 AM #
The Treo 600 is in my opinion brilliant - it does everything I want in a single box. Its smaller than many PDAs yet also does phone, texting/SMS, MMS, email, web, camera, mp3 player, etc etc. And it feels chunky and well built - except for the rubbish camera (like many in phones) and sometimes a slight buzzing in the audio.

The keyboard is very useful - I have no regrets in not having virtual graffiti. It makes texting a pleasure rather than the pain that comes from numeric keypads. And the keyboard defines its size - for me its a very good compromise. I would hate to go back to a smaller device - once you've got used to a proper keyboard why use a numeric keypad?

Yes high res. screen / BT / 3G would be nice, but that would hit battery life, which is (again) for me a key factor. My smartphone/pda supports me - I shouldn't have to think about charging it all the time like a tamagochi.

While the pda/phone market is fragmenting I wouldn't say its for everyone, but I'm extremely pleased with it. I took it off sailing the atlantic and could email pictures it took offshore and then the battery lasted the 3 week voyage. And under contract its price of UK pounds 200 was relatively good value.

Yes palm has an "interesting" market position and I wish them good luck. But in my opinion the Treo 600 is the best smartphone / PDA device available to date.

RE: Why the Treo 600 will fail
Admin @ 2/18/2004 11:10:07 AM #
anyone who thinks this device will fail, very obviously hasn't used one in person.

if you value you're ability to post here, you better stop making false uninformed judgments not based on any facts.

RE: Why the Treo 600 will fail
illdefined @ 2/18/2004 12:09:12 PM #
this had to be my first post. people arent aware what a milestone the treo600 really is.

its the first perfected ONE handed qwerty.

unconsciously, thats what really makes a mobile phone a mobile phone. one handed use. while bigger hands will certainly have problems with it, try using a sidekick or blackberry with one hand. with the 600, you can put in detailed contact info and fire off a couple sentence email with your other hand in your pocket (so useful this winter in manhattan).

yes the treo 600 is a TINY bit fat in your hand, but that will certainly go away (or the camera will get good enough to be worth it). but what has really been finalized for mainstream, mission critical use is the front face. the keyboard (and width) couldn't possibly get any smaller in coming generations. the fiveway and app buttons are perfectly placed. this is it. right now.

the antenna, the camera, the clie-thiness, hi-res, BT, thats all next of course, trade in when they come. THE form factor is here.

RE: Why the Treo 600 will fail
iJITSU @ 2/18/2004 1:03:40 PM #
Not sure how the Treo 600 will fare, however the first company to release a small, flip style phone running Palm OS 5 or Garnet or bugaloo with a high res screen and decent battery life WILL have a hit on their hands. The days are coming when all cell phones will run a full fledged operating system. The Palm OS has a great chance of being one of the major players if they position themselves correctly. Take the Treo 600, add a hi res screen, a removeable battery, and reduce the overall size by 10%, and you'll have one kick ass phone.

RE: Why the Treo 600 will fail
JonathanChoo @ 2/18/2004 2:01:20 PM #
Clamshell phones...not a fan. I love the plain vanilla 'candy bar' phones.

I like the Treo 600 and always goggle at it in the local Orange store. The only let down is lack of Bluetooth and a low res screen. I think the size is alright since it has such a big battery and you do save carrying a separate PDA and mobile. If a Bluetooth Hi-res version comes out, they can make it as big as the T3 and I will still buy it. I will just use my HBH-60 Bluetooth headset.

---
Current gadgets: Palm Tungsten T3, Sony Ericsson T630, Minolta DiMage E323, AMD2700+, 1Gb DDR400, nForce2, R9800Pro

RE: Why the Treo 600 will fail
madhatter @ 2/18/2004 2:56:24 PM #
"...you better stop making false uninformed judgments not based on any facts."

There are many, many posters to this forum that phrase could be applied to ... hmmmm.. new trend? ;-)



A Palm in hand is worth two in your pocket.

RE: Why the Treo 600 will fail
;-) @ 2/20/2004 12:45:28 AM #
You don't know the cell phone market very well. This has winner all over it. I'll bet my farm and then take your farm when you loose it.

Actually, I know the cellphone market quite well. I'll see your farm and raise you three cows.

This is creating a new class of product. To think it is going to replace or even compete with cheap SMS cell phones you have your demographics's really off.

The Treo is what's called a "9 to 5" phone that is mostly used by white collar professionals that only want one item instead "Duo" of PDA and cell phone. Those with money who are organized and not so accident prone will use smart phones and not construction works nor drunk club chics.

The Treo 600 is a nice design, but it's best thought of as a testbed for user interface ideas. Sony and Nokia will simply plagiarize its best ideas and release better quality smartphones taking away the (limited) market for true "smartphones" from Palm. Again, the Treo 600 will fail for the reasons I pointed out, not because it deserves to fail.

drunk club chics??? Good one.



It's just too big.

RE: Why the Treo 600 will fail
;-) @ 2/20/2004 12:56:12 AM #
anyone who thinks this device will fail, very obviously hasn't used one in person.

if you value you're ability to post here, you better stop making false uninformed judgments not based on any facts.

It's unfortunate to hear you talk like this, Ryan. Instead of making threats, why don't you try to counter the points I made? Are you capable of arguing your position cogently? It should be easy for you to deconstruct my "false uninformed judgements not based on any facts", shouldn't it?

I do own a Treo 600 and have used it for several months. My observations are based in fact and will be shown to be true whether or not you choose to stick your head in the sand.

I thought this was a site attempting to promote discussion, and I will gladly discuss my points with anyone capable of responding with a modicum of thought. Good day.



It's just too big.

RE: Why the Treo 600 will fail
John Pahl @ 2/20/2004 5:07:54 AM #
OK, I'll have a shot. The original list of 10 points can be split into three categories:

a) design isn't right (nos 1 & 10)
Basic question: is the size of the Treo 600 right? Well I'd say yes, as any larger and it would be horrid, but any smaller and it couldn't have a keyboard or reasonable screen size. To me the benefits of having just one device that does so much are worth it being slightly larger than (say) a T610. Its amazing I can view this site and post comments from _anywhere_ in world single-handed. And its changed how I see sending texts forever.

b) implementation isn't right (nos 2,3,5,6,7)
Question here: is it badly made or expensive? Well it survived my trip across the atlantic in a 41 foot yacht without any problems. On contract its cheaper than almost any PDA. Slight issue with buzz in background of voice calls when signal strength low, but in general its done everything well without a problem.

c) palm's market position is dangerous (nos. 4, 8, 9)
Question here: can palm compete with existing handset manufacturers? This is where I would at least partially agree. Palms strength of more s/w available is not one that necessarily sells more handsets, and indeed many operators might not want that amount of user flexibility as cost of support increases. As noted above all the nice features of Treo 600 can be "borrowed" into other devices. If there were 3 devices, one pocket-pc (say from motorola), one palm, one symbian (say from nokia) all looking just like Treo, what would be palm's USP? But that actually is saying the value of the design of the Treo 600 would have been noted and accepted by the industry.

So I'd say the _design concepts_ in the Treo 600 are / will be a success, but the future of palm is less certain.

RE: Why the Treo 600 will fail
;-) @ 2/20/2004 10:54:49 PM #
OK, I'll have a shot. The original list of 10 points can be split into three categories:

a) design isn't right (nos 1 & 10)
Basic question: is the size of the Treo 600 right? Well I'd say yes, as any larger and it would be horrid, but any smaller and it couldn't have a keyboard or reasonable screen size. To me the benefits of having just one device that does so much are worth it being slightly larger than (say) a T610. Its amazing I can view this site and post comments from _anywhere_ in world single-handed. And its changed how I see sending texts forever.

For those that dream of the single device solution, the Treo 600 is getting close. But no cigar. The screen is simply too small for those with more "mature" eyes to comfortably use for any period of time. The low res + too bright screen doesn't help, either. To view web pages etc. comfortably, you probably need a screen about 50% larger. The keyboard on the Treo 600 is nice but the tactile feel of the buttons is somewhat lacking if used for extended text entry. Separate PDA = space needed for bigger, better buttons. Most people like their phones as small and light as possible. The Treo 600 needs to shed 2 ounces, 20% of its size and the external antenna to really have a chance to be acceptable to typical cellphone users. I feel Palm should ditch the keyboard, keep the D-pad and use the extra space for screen real estate.

b) implementation isn't right (nos 2,3,5,6,7)
Question here: is it badly made or expensive? Well it survived my trip across the atlantic in a 41 foot yacht without any problems. On contract its cheaper than almost any PDA. Slight issue with buzz in background of voice calls when signal strength low, but in general its done everything well without a problem.

In North America, the Treo 600 costs between $300 - $700 depending on whether or not it's purchased with contract. They just can't compete on price with phones like the Sony Ericsson T610 (recently Amazon.com had an offer that PAID customers around $200 if they signed up for service with a T610). Go to http://discussion.treocentral.com/f58/s and you'll learn about Palm's quality control problems from real end users. And the phone's basic phone functionality is lacking.


c) palm's market position is dangerous (nos. 4, 8, 9)
Question here: can palm compete with existing handset manufacturers? This is where I would at least partially agree. Palms strength of more s/w available is not one that necessarily sells more handsets, and indeed many operators might not want that amount of user flexibility as cost of support increases. As noted above all the nice features of Treo 600 can be "borrowed" into other devices. If there were 3 devices, one pocket-pc (say from motorola), one palm, one symbian (say from nokia) all looking just like Treo, what would be palm's USP? But that actually is saying the value of the design of the Treo 600 would have been noted and accepted by the industry.

So I'd say the _design concepts_ in the Treo 600 are / will be a success, but the future of palm is less certain.

I agree with your last sentence. But phones with keyboards like the Treo 600 will only be niche players. The smartphone of the (near) future will have most of the front taken up with a dazzling high res screen that can function as a virtual keypad when dialling in phone mode and a wide screen for browsing, email, videophone and TV/video viewing. 4 - 5 oz is the maximum weight that will sell to the masses.




It's just too big.

RE: Why the Treo 600 will fail
chewer @ 2/21/2004 12:06:13 AM #
The truth is that no one knows if the Treo 600 will fail. It is always amusing to read posts that state opinions as fact as if doing so will show people that the writer has some insight that no one else has yet thought of. Personally I hope that the Treo line succeeds. Smartphones seem like the wave of the future and, as a concept, are very appealing. Given that this is an immature market it seems far too early to predict who will succeed or who will fail. The Treo is quite possibly the best converged product yet and one would tend to think that Palm plans to further develop the line. With that in mind I would tend to think that future Treo models hold the key to the lines success or failure, not the Treo 600.

RE: Why the Treo 600 will fail
;-) @ 2/21/2004 3:40:02 PM #
The truth is that no one knows if the Treo 600 will fail.

Based on the latest sales figures I have on the Treo 600, it is already failing. The points made above explain why this is happening. Just because you are unaware of this doesn't alter the truth. Like the PSION line before them, I expect Palm to run out of money before they can engineer a design that will sell well. Sony's new models will easily undercut Palm's equivalent PDAs this spring, siphoning off even more profits from a shinking market. The pie is getting too small to keep Palm fed.

A Sony Ericsson P900 shrunk by around 75%, running PalmOS and with the Treo 600 keyboard on the flip pad is the type of convergence device that will have legs. So far, everything released by ALL the manufacturers has been little more than beta hardware. Useful, but still beta.

Bookmark this page, return in six months and see who was right.


It's just too big.

RE: Why the Treo 600 will fail
chewer @ 2/22/2004 1:15:18 AM #
Based on the sales figures you are seeing? Give me a break. You are a perfect example of someone writing opinion as fact in a pathetic attempt to show that you are "aware" of information that no one else has. This product, and the smart phone category as a whole, is still in its infancy. No one can predict, based on the limited information available, whether the Treo line will fail. It may be the next big thing for Palm or it may prove to be a deadend. As stated earlier, the Treo 600 is unlikely to be the product that makes or breaks the future of Palm's smartphone line. Future models will be and until then everything you mentioned is pure speculation.

Should I be happy?

Patrick @ 2/18/2004 4:46:22 PM #
Twice the average ARPU?

Should I be happy about this? Doesn't this translate into twice as expensive to operate? Or are people so flummoxed by the little gadget that they are using it beyond what they might have budgeted?


RE: Should I be happy?
RhinoSteve @ 2/18/2004 7:12:34 PM #
You sound cheap.

The Treo is not an economy phone but a "balls to the wall" smartphone. I'm my opinion, with everything it offers and the communication response, to the specialized enterprise apps and so on, it is great.

You really get your money's worth with it if you have a life that you can apply it toward other than games, voyer pics and bitching on web sites with it! ;)

Build me this....

lab_monkee_see_all @ 2/18/2004 9:58:04 PM #
How about BlueTooth earpiece with the innards of a phone, but with the dialing done via software installed on a PDA! Do away with the cellphone alltogether. Just give me the BT earpiece with the innards of cell phone, and place the dialing features in an app that is run by a PDA with BT.
RE: Build me this....
RhinoSteve @ 2/19/2004 2:27:15 PM #
Give me two million in seed money, you have a deal!

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