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Comments on: Palm Centro Announced With Sprint

Palm CentroPalm and Sprint have officially announced the Palm Centro smartphone at a press conference at the DigitalLife show in New York City. The Centro is a new brand of smartphones for Palm debuting at a $99 price point and targeting a younger audience and the larger feature phone market segment.

Centro will be exclusive through Sprint in the United States for 90 days and is available in onyx black or ruby red. The Centro features a new design and is the smallest and lightest Palm OS phone to date. Pre-orders will begin from Palm tomorrow, with expected availability on October 14.

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Initial Impressions

hkklife @ 9/27/2007 2:25:06 PM # Q
Based on initial reports trickling in:

PROS:
1.Reasonably usable keyboard, according to TC's Dieter. It's still way too small, IMO

2. Athena connector. This makes the 500v's lack of Athena even more puzzling

3. "Improved" Blazer. No word on what is improved but really, how can it get any worse?

4. Supposedly light & has a good "feel" to it. That plastic looks VERRRY slick to me, however.

5. Decent software bundle (PTunes Deluxe, Google Maps etc.) I'm still not fond of all of the Sprint bloat/trialware on it but it appears to at least have some added value over the 755p's ROM bundle.

CONS:

1. Again the 680's phone app is omitted. This is inexcusable, IMO

2. No stereo 3.5mm headphone jack. Another inexcusable omission, especially for a device targeted at teens/kids/media-savvy types.

3.Pitiful 1150mAh batter. Even worse than the 1200mAh I was expecting! This thing won't last any time at all (I can barely make it through a day with the 700p's 1800mAh stock battery)

4. Palm Desktop is STILL in beta and is not included on the bundled software CD. They will merely link to the page containing the beta version download. This is another hunge bungle on Palm's part. They REFUSE to take Vista seriously despite the fact that's been available for nearly a year. Tthis is going to cost them dearly in terms of both support calls and loss of user goodwill.

5. The highly-vaunted $99 price point is still a myth. I only look a phone's "real" full retail price. So keep in mind that for the same $399 (this thing's actual retail price w/o contract) you can get a TX, a 2gb SD card and a cheap unlocked GSM cell phone.

6. Sprint exclusive. Disappointing, yes, but I'm not a bit surprised. I'm still predicting that we'll never see another Garnet device on Verizon after the 700p fiasco and Alltel, Telus etc. aren't important enough in the grand scheme of things to be worth fiddling with.

Garnet & EDGE are unfit for any future GSM devices, and Verizon's probably going to consolidate to just BB and WinMob devices only. So Palm has no choice but to hitch their hopes to Sprint, historically the biggest support of Palm/Palm OS smartphones. Now, folks, what's Palm gonna do if things ever do go sour with Sprint (ie another 700p-style disaster?) I think the pressure's on Palm to make this a good 'un for Sprint no matter what.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Initial Impressions
hkklife @ 9/27/2007 2:40:36 PM # Q
Oh and HOW did I forget about this one:

The classic Treo ring/mute switch is STILL present! So let's issue a HUGE sigh of relief over that one!

And another small bonus that I was not expecting is DTG 10 is finally standard. Now it appears to be a read-only version of DTG but I wasn't expecting any "biz" apps at all on it, so this is a welcome extra.

Finally, whew, the voice recorder app is standard as well!

So things are actually looking up a bit for this device. Some mind-boggling omissions, sure, but still more of a "classic" Palm experience than what we saw on the rebranded 500v.

I STILL want to know what the "bigger story behind the Centro" is, dammit!


Full specs here:

http://www.palm.com/us/products/smartphones/centro/?creativeID=US_BB_centro_preorder#specs

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Initial Impressions
Patrick @ 9/27/2007 3:37:35 PM # Q
Not having seen the device, I'd generally agree with your pro's and con's. However, when the 680 was released, there was considerable negative feedback on the "new, improved" phone app. To me, this moves its omission in the Centro away from the "inexcusable" category and more into the "listening to customers" arena.


RE: Initial Impressions
rcartwright @ 9/27/2007 4:47:15 PM # Q
hkklife @ 9/27/2007 2:25:06 PM said:


"2. No stereo 3.5mm headphone jack. Another inexcusable omission, especially for a device targeted at teens/kids/media-savvy types. "

Perhaps. Can the Centro support stereo Bluetooth?

As for the cost factor, well the contract subsdidy is a way of life for the US, Apple iPhone notwithstanding. The price point is not too bad. Leo Laporte on TWIT reported that at least one pawnshop near a major university was having a run of iphones being pawned, so the kids gotta have something to talk on and listen to tunes on.



"Many men stumble across the truth, but most manage to pick themselves up
and continue as if nothing had happened."
- Winston Churchill

RE: Initial Impressions
hkklife @ 9/27/2007 5:08:08 PM # Q
Patrick;

Good point. I'm actually surprised that the teeming masses don't seem overwhelmingly fond of the 680's phone app. I personally *LOVE* it and consider it a huge leap forward from the clunky old Treo 600-era dial screen. To each his own, I suppose.

It'll be interesting to see (assuming the 755p was basically just a 700p refresh and bugfix release) if Palm continues the little Garnet GUI enhancements and tweaks that they began on the 700p and continued on the 680.

And as far as A2DP stereo BT? Nope. Palm's web site comparison page doesn't indicate it and if Palm had somehow licensed Softick's tech and shoehorned it into Garnet, I'm sure we'd be seeing a big hoopla about it.

So all those hip teens had better factor another $50 into the price of the phone for a set of the Palm 2-in-1 stereo headphones. If I was an otherwise unassuming kid, I'd be P***ED that my fancy white iPod headphones didn't work on this device.

The creakiness of Garnet doesn't really bother me as much as Palm making hardware compromises that would only cost a few cents (at most) per device (No 3.5mm stereo headphone jack on any Treo, no LED or internal mic on the TX) yet are the source of endless user complaints and criticisms.

Does anyone know if the Centro has a charge/alert LED? If so I wonder if it's that cool "invisible when unlit" style like on the 755p.


Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Initial Impressions
freakout @ 9/27/2007 8:04:57 PM # Q
"Considerable negative feedback?" about the 680 Phone app? News to me. It's great. Big thumb-able buttons and looks very nice, especially the transparent calendar & clock. The only real problem is the lack of an on-screen "new" button for Contacts and the stupid Option+navigator method of shuffling favorites. And maybe the option to pick your own colours.

But Sprint must really hate it, 'cause this now makes two Palm OS phones that have featured the old Phone app. It's weird too, because the spy video PIC received a coupla weeks ago showed it with Phone v3.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650 ---> Crimson Treo 680

RE: Initial Impressions
hkklife @ 9/27/2007 9:41:01 PM # Q
Tim;

That's just what I was thinking about the big thumb-able buttons. On a screen THIS small, all of the k00l kidz Palm are targeting would probably their on-screen dialpad buttons being as big as possible and the 680's phone app would definitely be the ticket here.



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Initial Impressions
joad @ 9/27/2007 10:26:13 PM # Q
So THIS "$99 After Rebate" phone gets the CURRENT version 10 of Docs to Go as well as the DELUXE version of PocketTunes?!?

Those of us who have just paid a LOT more for our allegedly "professional-level" 755's are stuck with an unpatched version 8 of Docs to Go in the ROM and need to leave several MB of the upgraded files (that came out 1-1/2 years ago) in RAM?

*AND* we need to $pay$ an expensive "upgrade fee" for the Deluxe version of PocketTunes 4 or endure a curiously convenient "bug" in PocketTunes Deluxe 3 that prevents the 755 from turning off it's screen while playing music?

If I didn't know any better, I'd say that the Centro's included software is Palm's "middle finger" to the users who financed and beta tested the Treo for all these years (and would hence stay with the 6xx/7xx series and not downgrade to this Centro toy). What possible reason did we get stuck with year-old unpatched applications in our ROMs upon the 755's release, and this "throwaway" -priced Centro gets the current and/or Deluxe versions? Palm owes us a firmware update that either removes DTG 8.000 and/or gives us the current version 8.003/9.x/10.x.

|
**Another vote for a >100MB RAM Treo**

RE: Initial Impressions
hkklife @ 9/28/2007 9:50:10 AM # Q
Well Joad, if it's any consolation at all, it's a read-only version of DTG 10. You can VIEW Docs but not EDIT them. You gotta pay dearly to "unlock" it to edit/create documents. So that presumably comes with more RAM-hogging files as well.

As far as PTunes Deluxe, sure it's a great touch and all, but WHY didn't Palm just stick a standard stereo headphone jack on the Centro? IMO, the advantages of a freebie bundled version of PTunes Deluxe are totally mitigated by not only the lack of a real headphone jack but also by the pitiful storage capabilities + increased cost and limited flexibility of microSD.

I agree that Palm owes its 700p and 755p users a huge bonus at this stage.

I'd personally like to see them offer a "ROM Pack" for both of the above devices consisting of VersaMail 4.0 (isn't that the new version on the Centro?), DTG 10, PTunes Deluxe, Bejeweled (or some other game) and whatever version number the improved Blazer on the Centro is. Heck, since I'd gladly pay $30-$35 for such a download if it overwrote all of my old ROM versions and was stable.

Barring that, Palm, at least release the new Blazer & VM as a free DL for those of us who suffered through a miserable year + with the 1.06/buggy 1.10 700p!

Even if I WANTED a Centro now, I couldn't get it b/c I am still under contract with Verizon.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Initial Impressions
twizza @ 9/28/2007 12:06:35 PM # Q
3.Pitiful 1150mAh batter. Even worse than the 1200mAh I was expecting! This thing won't last any time at all (I can barely make it through a day with the 700p's 1800mAh stock battery)

Sheesh man, what they heck do you do? I'm brutal on my battery (1600 oem on the 680) but make it the entire day and then some.

2. No stereo 3.5mm headphone jack. Another inexcusable omission, especially for a device targeted at teens/kids/media-savvy types.

Just kids/teens, not media types. However Palm is seeminly making sure to make known of those abilities.

Those those who'd like a free/low cost ROM upgrade to your 700p/755p models, am I right in assuming that you deserve an engine upgrade on your car when a new model comes out a year after you purcahsed that too? Not to sound spiteful, but dang sometimes those "we deserve 'x'" responses come off like little children who are mad that they got what they paid for. Reminds me of a parable where workers were mad at getting the same wage as those who worked less. The overseer responded that they agreed to a price and got what they agreed to, they don't deserve more because they've done more work or were there more.

And as far as A2DP stereo BT? Nope. Palm's web site comparison page doesn't indicate it and if Palm had somehow licensed Softick's tech and shoehorned it into Garnet, I'm sure we'd be seeing a big hoopla about it.

Agreed. Why Palm hasn't done that is beyond me, but then again, AG has been up and down in terms of stability for several users across different models. It might have just been too hard to get the BT profile to play nicely for this one at this time.

However, when the 680 was released, there was considerable negative feedback on the "new, improved" phone app. To me, this moves its omission in the Centro away from the "inexcusable" category and more into the "listening to customers" arena.

Too bad that content end-users to crap and moan louder than carriers can. No one that has played with my 680 has expressed that they don't like it, and most do like it (some with a few changes). The old UI is a halmark of usability, and pretty dead-on to understand. I still think that it was one part a carrier decsion to keep the old phone app, therefore making support for the device a non-train-the-CR issue than make customers happy.

By the way, great pics Ryan.

mobileministrymagazine.com
antoinerjwright.com

RE: Initial Impressions
hkklife @ 9/28/2007 2:38:07 PM # Q
'Toine;

CDMA is notoriously more power hungry than GSM. Remember, you've got a 2G/2.5G EDGe radio om the 680 vs. a 3G CDMA EVDO on the Centro. And having a bit smaller LCD isn't going to make a huge difference IMO. The only thing I can think of that the new consolidated chipset/radio in the Centro might be more power thrifty than the 755p/700p. At any rate, I'm worried about the Centro not holding up through a day. Palm's rating the Centro with less talk & standby time than the 680, so if a 680 could get you through the day with a bit to spare, then it's easy to see how the Centro might poop out prematurely.

If you noticed, I said I'd GLADLY pay for ROM updates to the bundled apps on my device so that I don't have to clog RAM with redundant copies of newer executables of those same programs.

As far as my own usage patterns, I keep my 700's screen about 3/4 brightness, and check e-mail every hour on the hour. BT is always off unless I'm doing GPS. I don't know if it's a Garnet thing or what but I'm on my 2nd 700p and I have 3 coworkers/colleages also with Verizon 700p's. Out of those 5 700p's I have firsthand experience with, everyone's 700p fares worse in battery life than another guy's 700wx that is constantly in use.



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Initial Impressions
twizza @ 10/1/2007 11:02:29 AM # Q
CDMA is a beast. But like the 680, the Centro is not marketed toawrds heavy users such as yourself and I. Palm would rather we tote the bigger battery models and call it a day there. The Centro will get a bigger battery, doubt it will be more than 1300mAh though. There just isn't a lot of space in there (as with the 755p).

mobileministrymagazine.com
antoinerjwright.com
RE: Initial Impressions
hkklife @ 10/1/2007 2:10:57 PM # Q
You know, someone needs to check in with Seidio to see if they are planning to offer high-capacity batteries for the Treo 500 and Centro. Does anyone know yet if those two similar-but-not-identical devices share the exact same battery dimensions?



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Initial Impressions
twizza @ 10/1/2007 2:56:17 PM # Q
Seido hasnt commented yet, but I am sure they will try.

The 680 has a weird design to the battery compared to the squared off one of the 755p. Its hopeful that Palm was able to do a square design in this so that it would sit deeper, making a newer battery a bit easier to develop.

mobileministrymagazine.com
antoinerjwright.com

Reply to this comment

Other carriers? Alltel, Verizon, Telus etc?

hkklife @ 9/27/2007 2:55:42 PM # Q
Ryan, did Palm kinda/sorta hint that any other domestic CDMA carriers might offer this thing? It seems that even with the carryover specs from the 755p, this is a LOT to spend on tooling/design/promotion for a Sprint-exclusive device.

And I'm thinking we might even see the US version (with a quad-band GSM radio) of the 500v under the "Centro" branding as well.



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Other carriers? Alltel, Verizon, Telus etc?
Ryan @ 9/28/2007 9:48:49 AM # Q
No, they would only talk about Sprint and that they have a 90-day exclusive on the Centro, which carries through the holiday season.
Reply to this comment

More Centro tidbits (this time from PalmAddicts)

hkklife @ 9/27/2007 3:28:14 PM # Q
-"It still uses Blazer, but Blazer now includes built in Google Maps, Flicker and YouTube"


**NOTE**: From the screencaps of the presentation, it looks like BLazer just links to the lame YouTube Mobile page, which is absolutely devoid of "real" content. So this thing's nothing like the iPod Touch/iPhone's Safari-based "real" YouTube playback.

-"It will also come with the Sprint Music Center which will aggregate all the music on your PC and you can buy music from the Sprint Music Store, but on the PC only. You won't be able to buy music directly from the phone."

-"Ed ducked the question about whether there would be a GSM version and if you have Vista you will have to download the beta version of the desktop from Palm, as a final version isn't ready yet and it won't be on the installation CD. Ed said that Sprint will have an exclusive "for the holiday season". I don't quite what this means. After the seasion ... what then?"

-"By the way, the Javits Center, which is New York's biggest convention center, has no free WiFi access! Can you believe that! Press people are trying to tether their laptops to their cellphones and there are a few, really only a few, hard ethernet lines available in the press room. Probably the worst press setup I've ever seen."


(The final point, SV, speaks volumes. Why didn't someone product one of those litle Linksys travel routers and set up an instant hotspot?)

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: More Centro tidbits (this time from PalmAddicts)
Gekko @ 9/27/2007 7:26:46 PM # Q
>"By the way, the Javits Center, which is New York's biggest convention center, has no free WiFi access! Can you believe that! Press people are trying to tether their laptops to their cellphones and there are a few, really only a few, hard ethernet lines available in the press room. Probably the worst press setup I've ever seen."

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More PalmAddicts tidbits (PDAs & a few Centro tech. questions)
hkklife @ 9/28/2007 10:18:01 AM # Q
Some interesting responses in these comments. If the Centro has the same "core code" as the 680, then why no new phone app? And by all accounts the Centro doesn't lag as much as the 680 does. Does this comment also suggest the 680 will be discontinued (because it offers too much bang for the buck) in favor of a GSM/EDGE Garnet Centro? Sounds likely...

Ed Colligan on PDAs:

"I took one last turn past the Palm booth and Ed Colligan was there. He gave me a minute and so I asked if Palm had any plans to discontinue the TX or other PDAs. Ed said No! He said that they haven't paid too much attention to them recently because of the big opportunity in the phone area, but that Palm was number one in PDAs and he felt that there was a place for both. Good news for a lot of us who still love their TXs for such things as ebooks."

Stephanie Richardson, Palm's Product Marketing Manager for Centro:

"Stephanie says that the Centro's battery life is 3 1/2 talk hours and 10 days standby. I asked her who did the design of the product. In other words, did Palm just do the "look and feel" design or did it do more. Stephanie said that for a product like this, which is taking Palm in a new direction, Palm not only did the industrial design, but actually did the electrical hardware design as well. Palm felt it was important to have full control over the complete hardware and software design process so that they could achieve exactly what they wanted. Some of their other phones have used an ODM for design, but not this one.

Why no WiFi? Stephanie says that with the Sprint EVDO network WiFi is just not necessary and they didn't feel the need for it. I forgot to mention in my earlier post that the Centro is 3G and takes advantage of Sprint's high speed network. Stephanie demonstrated calling up some websites with Blazer on the 3G network, and I must say that I was impressed. It seemed as fast as my WiFi at home. 3G is not available in my part of New Jersey so I've never seen it before. They may have a point here. Of course, in tests I've seen on other sites 3G really seems to suck down battery life quickly - but so does WiFi.

The Centro uses the same core code as the 680 as far as the Palm OS goes. I asked her about Linux and the future of the PDA part of Palm, but she didn't feel she could comment as these were out of her area. Sprint has an exclusive for 90 days from the date of availability. (So maybe we'll see the phone on other networks. My speculation, not hers.) "No comment" on whether there will be a GSM version.

I played around a bit with the phone and I have to say it has a very nice heft and feel. It doesn't feel plasticky or cheap and the keyboard seems quite usable for SMS and shorter emails, which is fine for the intended audience. If I needed a "business" phone I would definitely go for one of the Treo models. By the way, the Centro name, she says, was a deliberate intent to distinguish the phone from the Treo line and its business orientation."



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: More Centro tidbits (this time from PalmAddicts)
goldyman @ 9/28/2007 11:08:36 AM # Q
OK, I'll admit that I'm a smartphone newbie but a longtime Palm user. One comment above intrigues me: What makes the Treo a "business" phone and the Centro a "teen" phone. Side-by-side spec comparison at the Palm site show them almost identical.


RE: More Centro tidbits (this time from PalmAddicts)
SeldomVisitor @ 9/28/2007 11:50:17 AM # Q
Because those in business are old enough to need glasses?

RE: More Centro tidbits (this time from PalmAddicts)
vorlon @ 9/28/2007 3:05:19 PM # Q
Yay for more PDA's!

Could someone please confirm that DTG is read only?!

I also worried that 320-resolution on so small screen would be too small, until I started to use the new iPod nano.

People complaining about Centro's small keyboard should take a look what Samsung has to offer, namely the Jitterbug. Ha!

Reply to this comment

Palm OS Garnet: Palm should be embarrassed!

nikazu @ 9/27/2007 4:22:48 PM # Q
I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but how can Palm NOT be embarrassed releasing the same old, dated OS on new hardware like this? I'd be afraid to show my face!

RE: Palm OS Garnet: Palm should be embarrassed!
drbuzz0 @ 9/27/2007 10:16:13 PM # Q
IMHO, if Palm wants Garnet to have any life at all and not be an entire sham - given it's going to take a bit of time to get the new OS ready - the best thing they could do to buy some time would be to add some really effecient, well implimented, fully featured support for middleware stuff.

Flashlight, Flash, J2ME. If they add that it will at least make the OS okay for a bit longer because it will enable more software and such. It's not a solution, but it might get them through the next few months.

Also update the launcher. Nothing fancy, just something like Launcher-X which allows for more than three collums and putting card-stored stuff in catagories and that sort of thing.

If they could do that it would at least make garnet usable for the time being.

RE: Palm OS Garnet: Palm should be embarrassed!
Gekko @ 9/27/2007 10:19:47 PM # Q

i think they could at least polish up the GUI with some eye candy. i mean, it looks basically the same since 1996.

http://images.zatz.com/websites/palmpower/issues/issue200003/palmiiic-a.gif

RE: Palm OS Garnet: Palm should be embarrassed!
freakout @ 9/27/2007 11:05:30 PM # Q
^^ Especially considering that PalmRevolt and SkinUI have been sprucing up PalmOS for years now. It's not that hard to add a bit of spit & polish, so why haven't Palm done it yet?
Reply to this comment

Whatever

cgarrett1974 @ 9/27/2007 5:12:43 PM # Q
I don't care anymore... it is a thinner 755p with a smaller battery... that makes a lot of sense.
RE: Whatever
abosco @ 9/27/2007 5:35:09 PM # Q
But it's still not even close to being thin enough. 3/4" is just too much. Great price, though.

-Bosco
NX80v + Wifi + BT + S710a
RE: Whatever
joad @ 9/27/2007 10:30:50 PM # Q
Yeah... smaller battery is excellent. I'm sick of using my phone anyway - a battery capacity that's even shorter than the minuscule 680 or 755 offers a great opportunity to just leave it somewhere to be admired rather than used...

|
**Another vote for a >100MB RAM Treo**
Reply to this comment

Bigger Story

analogue wings @ 9/27/2007 5:42:13 PM # Q
Did anyone catch what the "bigger story" is?

My money was on pay-as-you-go voice/data plans for the kidz...

IIIc -> M105 -> Zire 21 -> Tungsten T2 -> Treo 650

RE: Bigger Story
bulls96 @ 9/28/2007 1:25:45 AM # Q
yeah i was looking for this too... anyone?

RE: Bigger Story
SeldomVisitor @ 9/28/2007 6:25:36 AM # Q
Pay-as-you-go would not allow the Centro to be sold so cheaply. They need those two years of extra-expensive data plan to "correct" for the loss-leading up-front cost.

RE: Bigger Story
hkklife @ 9/28/2007 9:38:48 AM # Q
The possible "bigger stories" that I can think of:

1. Fooleo integration (I think that at the time of the "hint" the official announcement of the Fooleo had not yet officially occured)

2. The start of a new line of budget/youth/style-oriented Palm smartphones, all at price points below the Treo line.

3. Perhaps Palm is going to sell a version of the Centro with the cellular radio removed but with wi-fi as a VOIP handset/PDA? Or perhaps a data-centric TX-style device with EVDO to be marketed as a Centro? With the thought that Treo=QWERTY but Centro=cool stuff?

4. A forthcoming software update will permit over-the-air music downloads from the Sprint Music Store onto microSD cards?

5. The "Treo" line will segue to being exclusively WinMob (and presumably PLinux if it's ever ready) once the 755p & 680 runs their course in '08. Centro will be the new budget vanguard of POS devices.

6. The Treo 500v will be coming to America but branded as a Centro and sporting a quad-band GSM radio.

7. There is no "bigger story" and this was just a teaser tidbit thrown out there by Palm to appease everyone until the official release day arrived (this is my theory).

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Bigger Story
Ryan @ 9/28/2007 9:52:48 AM # Q
Well there wasn't anything else I'm aware of so they 'bigger story' so it was just pr-hype I suppose. I even asked a few people if there were any other unannounced services, major accessories or tie ins to come...

Unless the bigger story was that this is a "$99" device aimed at a whole new market segment, ie feature phone users.

RE: Bigger Story
hkklife @ 9/28/2007 10:02:23 AM # Q
One posibility I did not mention above but still might tie in to the "bigger story" part:

This thing might start out where it is not with the initial $199 price minus a $100 MIR w/ 2yr contract. Then it may eventually (after the holidays) drop down to $99 out the door w/ 2 yr contract.

The "bigger story" might be that it'll either eventually drop the MIR and have a real subsidized price of $99 OR become like the RAZR and, in a year or so, just be "free" w/ new contract.


Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

Reply to this comment

Looks Good

Gekko @ 9/27/2007 6:19:39 PM # Q

what's not to like? $99, thin and light, great specs, nice form factor.

1. will the Centro cannibalize Treo sales?

2. low margins for Palm at this price even with carrier-subsidy?



RE: Looks Good
TooMuch @ 9/27/2007 7:20:51 PM # Q
"Looks good." Agreed

1. will the Centro cannibalize Treo sales?
It might. I would love to have a more pocketable smartphone from Palm (I hate having to use a holster on some occasions). If it comes to ATT, I might swap my 680 for it.

RE: Looks Good
Ryan @ 9/28/2007 9:57:34 AM # Q
I think that consumers or younger people who would buy treo's would be swayed toward this device, but I think it would bring in much, much more "palm" newcomers than take away from treo sales.

You really be better off with a larger treo if email and business type work is your primary function for a smartphone. The keyboard on centro is pretty cramped for serious typing.

Just imagine a treo 700/750/680 keyboard with no space between the letters and slightly smaller keys, that's about it.

RE: Looks Good
twrock @ 9/28/2007 10:59:06 AM # Q
Yes, as far as the "looks" go, it does look good. But I'm waiting for the rumored large screen version: http://tinyurl.com/yw2rgj


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/
RE: Looks Good
nybble @ 9/28/2007 11:36:49 AM # Q
I agree, too. Strangely, I think it's a pretty good value for $100. Annoying that they lock you into the contract, but that's pretty much par for the course these days. The small form factor will definitely appeal to some and it's impressive that they kept the 320x320 on that screen and kept it touchy for $100. It's a solid, if not inspired, release for Palm which is more than I can say for any other recent or not so recent release.

Course, I blogged a little more on it. :)
http://comments.deasil.com/2007/09/28/palm-centro/

<http://comments.deasil.com/> that is my tech blog. There are many like it, but that one is mine.

RE: Looks Good
mikecane @ 9/28/2007 12:27:35 PM # Q
It's the Fernando phone: "I'd rather look good than feel good."

Forget buying it, Gekko. You'd NEVER be able to use the keyboard.

I couldn't even do a phone number without screwups.

If I was 13-19, this would be an ideal phone. My hands were smaller and my eyes were sharper back then.

Now, pffft!

It's questionable whether this will woo Teh Kidz away from their Sidekicks -- Sidekick has a larger screen and larger keyboard.

RE: Looks Good
SeldomVisitor @ 9/28/2007 12:42:00 PM # Q
And Sidekicks have overtly-obvious moving parts.

[and, believe it or not, that's no kidding!]

RE: Looks Good
TooMuch @ 9/28/2007 5:06:30 PM # Q
"It's questionable whether this will woo Teh Kidz away from their Sidekicks -- Sidekick has a larger screen and larger keyboard."

Sidekicks are TMobile. If the market is a kid, then the kid is most likely tied to a family carrier. In this case the Sidekick is limited to one carrier. Agreed...Sidekicks are pretty cool but extremely isolated with only TMobile.

RE: Looks Good
mikecane @ 10/1/2007 3:41:06 PM # Q
>>>Sidekicks are pretty cool but extremely isolated with only TMobile.

Eh. I didn't know that. I still see them all over. More of them than Treos.

RE: Looks Good
hkklife @ 10/1/2007 4:32:05 PM # Q
I probably see more Treos overall but the vast majority of them are 650's with a handful of 700-series units (can't tell usually if it's POS or WM but I am guessing they are WM variants). I've only seen a few handfuls of the newer 680/750/755 Treos and those were all being used by high-flying thirtysomething sales/marketing types.

Amongst the kids, I see a great deal of SideKicks, especially when at places like concerts or major metropolitan areas (big city mall food courts etc).
Suncom also offered the Sidekick in the past, btw, and will likely begin doing so again with the T-Mob acquisition.


Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Looks Good
Gekko @ 10/1/2007 7:45:14 PM # Q

i've never seen a sidekick in the wild.

RE: Looks Good
SeldomVisitor @ 10/1/2007 8:11:06 PM # Q
I haven't looked for them but seen plenty in the hands of teenyboppers.

Admittedly, MOST of what I see in the hands of teenyboppers are either RAZRs or some other small flipphone.

[everytime we go to the mall or vacation area or whereever, I've been making it a habit to see what folks are using to do what via cell service - I am STILL amazed at how much text-messaging is prevalent at the places I go and how FAST teenyboppers are at doing it with nonQWERTY phones - it was a true giggle to watch one 14-ish teenybopper girl at Hershey Park receiving a text message, opening her run-of-the-mill flipphone, reading, responding at SHOCKING speed, ker-placking it shut, waiting a few seconds, receiving a reply, rinse and repeat - over and over a-GAIN! She was obviously enjoying it, she was obviously enjoying the "ker-PLACK!" of ending each session (see a different post of mine elsewhere about this!), her cell carrier was OBVIOUSLY raking in the bucks!]

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'Just Shut Up' Award?

TooMuch @ 9/27/2007 7:13:36 PM # Q
If Golic & Greenie from ESPN radio were to read these comments, they would most certainly give the next "Just Shut Up" award to all the Palm whiners. Centro will sell.

RE: 'Just Shut Up' Award?
joad @ 9/27/2007 10:35:58 PM # Q
Sure, it'll probably sell - if the battery life is able to sustain well for enough people and the build quality is a lot better than Treo build quality has been until recently.

If this is intended for people who are texting and doing multimedia all the time - the battery had better be "hella" robust, because sales will quickly diminish if word gets around in the "hip young teen" circles that the phone is usually dead by lunchtime at the local school cafeteria. The kids will be telling "Golic & Greenie" to 'shut up.'

|
**Another vote for a >100MB RAM Treo**

RE: 'Just Shut Up' Award?
2xs @ 9/28/2007 2:29:25 AM # Q
nice piece of hardware, i would consider a GSM version... not as a teeny, but as someone hating his 680-holster. I worry about the battery, too... still hoping, that it is a software glitch on the 680 (and waiting 4 an update!!!)

Palm Professional -> Palm III -> Palm Vx -> Palm m505 -> Palm TT2 -> Palm TT3 -> Palm TX -> Treo680
Reply to this comment

Sprint and WiMax

WareW01f @ 9/28/2007 8:56:34 AM # Q
First of all, entry (if you can call $100 that) level smart phone. Bravo. Great move, even if it only took 3 years or so. ;^P I suppose after ditching PDAs they needed *something* to sell. My big question in all of this is: Sprint is going WiMax... so Palm is not going to be on that boat either.

The one thing I have trouble understanding (and have never seen any info on either) is why, after all the work that was done on Cobalt/ALP is Palm so set on their own flavor? Windows Mobile was 'good enough' for them. Surely with the other flops they've had they could *try* and existing flavor.

Ah well. I'm not going to fuel the 'Palm is dying' thread, but seriously, were are they going? The PDA market morphed into the DAP... and it was Palm's market to lose. They claim that the PDA is dead, only to watch iPod sales going strong. (Um... opps) Now the smart phone market is going to move on and Palm is still flopping. Hello?

I will say this is finally the first Palm I've thought about picking up, but for a few things. The first is, were is the clam shell? Handspring had one, it's only one of the most popular form factors. It's not like there is a keyboard here. Swing and a miss. The second is, again, the fact that while I am in fact looking at Sprint (because of WiMax) this isn't going to cut it and Palm isn't playing anywhere near it. The same can be said of things like UMA and VOIP. All areas that Palm *could* be playing. Some path to the future would be nice, no path, no future.

Reply to this comment

Centro pay as you go

MrStyle @ 9/28/2007 2:42:24 PM # Q
Get this thing on Virgin Mobile USA (uses Sprint PCS network)!!!!

RE: Centro pay as you go
hkklife @ 9/28/2007 3:00:54 PM # Q
That's a dang good idea! Sell it for $199.99 retail in Virgin-branded packaging (in red only, of course) and you'd probably see some people buying it as a PDA replacement with just sporadic data usage!

That's the kind of clever thinking Palm needs to come up with to target new categories that are somewhere in between a profitable niche and the mass market.

Selling a retail Centro PDA with wi-fi instead of the EVDO radio and targeting it as a PDA/PMP/VOIP handset is another....

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

Reply to this comment

Cannibalization of the Treo

Gekko @ 9/28/2007 5:42:51 PM # Q

I think this Centro could potentially cannibalize the Treo.

I'd buy it over any Treo. It's as good as any Treo in terms of specs, it's smaller/lighter, and it's A LOT cheaper.

RE: Cannibalization of the Treo
SeldomVisitor @ 9/30/2007 8:01:47 PM # Q
Apologies - posted before reading yours:

-- http://www.palminfocenter.com/comments/9505/#138146

RE: Cannibalization of the Treo
twizza @ 10/1/2007 11:05:20 AM # Q
Would be a good thing for Palm if it does. It would end up pushing the Treos further upmarket, therefore Palm would have to come out with something a lot better.

mobileministrymagazine.com
antoinerjwright.com
RE: Cannibalization of the Treo
Gekko @ 10/1/2007 7:46:19 PM # Q

>therefore Palm would have to come out with something a lot better.

don't count on it.

Reply to this comment

Exclusive periods with firm ends that aren't firm

SeldomVisitor @ 10/3/2007 7:25:17 AM # Q
At the just-made earnings call Colligan said about the Centro:

== "...Yes, the exclusive with Sprint is for 90 days, and
== I'm not going to comment exactly on how much it will
== last beyond that, but that's the exclusive timeframe..."

which I remembered because it was, obviously, such a strange thing to say.

Well, today, Verizon announced three new phones that are in direct competition to PALM products, including the Centro.

RE: Exclusive periods with firm ends that aren't firm
SeldomVisitor @ 10/3/2007 8:43:56 AM # Q
Here's an Engadget link about Verizon's new stuff:

-- http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2007/10/03/hands-on-with-verizons-new-fall-lineup/

My apologies for not including it in the original post of this thread.

RE: Exclusive periods with firm ends that aren't firm
hkklife @ 10/3/2007 11:24:48 AM # Q
Well, SV, TreoCentral is reporting that someone there fondled a Verizon-branded 800w. I'm sticking to my guns here with my predictions regarding Palm & Verizon:

-The 755p will never be released on Verizon due to the 700p debacle

-The Centro will never be released on Verizon because it runs POS and it has no compelling features to differentiate it from the handsets SV just linked to.

-A GSM Centro will be released in early '08 and will very likely be the final Garnet-based device from Palm.

-Verizon is soon going to cut their data prices becaue Sprint & SERO are apparently eating their lunch.

-Verizon will repeat ther 700w cycle with the 800w---an initial period of exclusivity after the 800's launch (Q1 2008 supposedly) then it'll arrive on Sprint sometime next summer in a slightly-different form (800wx?). My guess is that the Sprint version may even get GPS (not aGPS, but real GPS).



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Exclusive periods with firm ends that aren't firm
SeldomVisitor @ 10/3/2007 12:51:13 PM # Q
> ...TreoCentral is reporting that someone there fondled
> a Verizon-branded 800w...

Well, the guy who posted that (how-something) is now hemming and hawing about "I =think= I saw a "Treo" on it" so we don't even know if it was a PALM device he thought he saw...

W.r.t. Verizon vis-a-vis PALM I think Colligan's words up above there are VERY telling.

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