AirPrime Module to Power CDMA Treo
Handspring has selected AirPrime's Helium 1X embedded module platform for the future CDMA version of the Treo. Handspring has been working with Sprint to develop a version of its smartphone that will operate on Sprint's high-speed wireless network, and the Helium 1X will be the heart of it. Together, these will give this version of the Treo a theoretical maximum data speed of 153.6 kbps.
Handspring has been reluctant to release any details on the CDMA Treo so far before its release. However, if it follows the CDMA2000 standard, it will have an "always-on" connection, meaning there is no need for the user to place a call to establish an Internet connection to retrieve messages or email.
Sprint is expected to launch its CDMA2000 1X network around the middle of this year. Though Sprint calls its network 3G, there is doubt among experts on whether it is fast enough to qualify. Some have said a better description would be 2.5G.
The Helium 1X module is backwards compatible so it will be usable with current CDMA networks.
Though GSM/GPRS has the most popular wireless standard in other parts of the world, CDMA is the predominant standard in the U.S. The current version of the Treo is GSM, eventually upgradable to GPRS, which has hampered sales of it in the U.S.
At a conference call last week, Handspring CEO Donna Dubinsky said that the CDMA Treo would be introduced during this financial quarter, which will be over at the end of June.
Last week, an anonymous source leaked some details on the CDMA Treo, saying that it will have a 16-bit color screen. Apparently, only a keyboard version will be available and not one with Graffiti.
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