Rumor: Is the Treo 90 Handspring's Mystery Device?

Last month, Donna Dubinsky, Handspring's CEO, said her company would be releasing a new device that is not a Visor . She said it would borrow some of the design characteristics of the Treo line but not be a wireless device. Recently, rumors have been circulating about a Treo 90, which has a built-in keyboard but no Springboard slot.

There appear to be some basis for these as, a Canadian webstore, now lists the Handspring Treo 90.

Update: The Treo 90 has been removed from CompuSmart's webstore. However, a screenshot of what was there is available.

According to CompuSmart, it will have a color screen, a built-in keyboard, and 16 MB of RAM. Possibly the most surprising thing about this model is that it will have SD slot. There is no mention of a Springboard slot. The Treo 90 is listed at $460 CAD, or $295 US.

The webstore gives no other details and has no pictures.

When Ms. Dubinsky made her original reference to the mystery device, she said only that it would be available before the end of Handspring's current financial quarter, which is over at the end of June. CompuSmart says the Treo 90 will be available on May 29.

Update: PDABuzz has what is says is a picture of the Treo 90 and a few details, including the size.

Thanks to Larry and Adam Perahia for the tips. -Ed

Related Information:

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Back In The Game

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 1:31:05 PM #
HS is back in the game. They need to compete with this years models, lol.

Hopefully, this will be like the Edge, with a built in keyboard, and color hi-res screen. :o

RE: Back In The Game
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 4:12:24 PM #
yeah right, high-res screen keep dreaming. Get real!!
RE: Back In The Game
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 4:22:02 PM #
So is it official that their latet and greatest PDA innovatin is chicklet keyboards?

This is a sad day in Palm-dom

RE: Back In The Game
Mathrocks314 @ 5/16/2002 4:56:56 PM #
I’m glad to see their doing some thing that’s non-wireless. It's good it has an expansion slot. Still high-res would be cool…

RE: Back In The Game
msmasitti @ 5/16/2002 6:05:10 PM #
HandSpring has learned from their, and Palm's mistakes. Lets see it fixed. BTW, I started this thread I just wasn't logged in at school.

CLIE Moderator
RE: Back In The Game
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/17/2002 12:37:38 AM #
No surprise that Handspring is moving away from Graffiti. Isn't Palm getting its ass sued over a patent issue with Graffiti? I think (is it Xerox?) Palm lost the suit in court too.

Memory cards are a good idea. A faster cpu like 66MHz would have been nice if it kept power down the same or lower than 33MHz. Also nice would be if it has the same bottom connector as the Visor so we can use cables and keyboards.

RE: Back In The Game
Kesh @ 5/17/2002 8:41:11 PM #
Yep, Palm got sued by Xerox in regard to Graffiti, and lost. It's now in appeal.

Treos have a different connector than Visors, but at least all the Treos have matching connectors. So anything that attaches to a Tre 180/270 should attach to a Treo 90.

This seems natural

fkclo @ 5/16/2002 1:32:01 PM #
It is not too much a surprise, because :-
a. Handspring is obviously moving away from Graffiti Silk Screen
b. Springboard can get beyond OS3.5x
c. Expansion / external storage is becoming a standard feature for PDAs. SD is the norm now.
c. A similar form factor provides a family look (except the flip), and reduce production cost.

Now, what is going to be the fate of Visor, and all those springboard developers. Kind of sad to think about.

I heard that it will be in champagne colour, though still colour casing.

RE: This seems natural
fkclo @ 5/16/2002 1:41:09 PM #
Sorry, I mean plastic casing.

Well, there goes the Springboards :(

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 1:33:05 PM #
If this rumor is true, it would be safe to assume that there will be no more Visor's and the Springboards are out too.

I guess this move is understandable since the size of the modules is too large to support being used within a communicator-type of device. Although, I hope this means there will soon be a TREO 270 that sports an SD Slot. If this rumor is true, the engineering has already been done to make this possible. Expansion is my only hang-up with the TREO communicators and if future communicators have SD(i.e. like a TREO 370), then I'd be a happy camper.

If the Communicator products (like TREO 180/270) eventually do include the SD cards, I'm curious if they would also support cards like BlueTooth, 802.11b/a or if they will be storage-only support. That would be awsome to be able to go anywhere and tap into an 802.11b(a) network/LAN for local traffic and GPRS/CDMA when outside of a LAN.

Very interesting Rumor Ed, Thanks!

RE: Well, there goes the Springboards :(
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 3:22:22 PM #
No network administrator would allow this device on their network. Being that it would have access to corporate resources AND have an unregulated (except by the user) link to the outside world. This creates a huge security hole.

Just my $0.02.

RE: Well, there goes the Springboards :(
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 3:53:32 PM #
> I hope this means there will soon be a TREO 270 that sports an SD Slot.

My guess is the SD slot hardware went in where they had taken out the wireless modem. There isn't room in the casing for both. The Treo is really small. Certainly no room for a springboard port.

SD status confirmed inadvertantly by a third party...

alanh @ 5/16/2002 1:43:20 PM #
Do a search for "treo 90" on google. One of the links listed is for:

Google's cache of the item is more telling:

Quoted in part:

BackupBuddyVFS is designed to work with organizers that support the Virtual File System (''VFS''), such as the Palm m125, m500, m505, m705, Handspring Treo 90, and the Sony Clie. Please note: The Handera 330 is not supported at this time.

Picture at pdabuzz

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 1:45:27 PM #
There is a picture and more details at 12 bit color, SD, and it looks like in the picture there is indeed some type of flip cover which I think is great as integrated screen protection is something that is lacking in most PDA's.
RE: Picture at pdabuzz
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 1:51:57 PM #
The picture looks too much like someone photoshopped a 180.
RE: Picture at pdabuzz
GregGaub @ 5/16/2002 2:57:17 PM #
Ok,it might be doctored, but I don't think so. For me, the hinge gives it away. The Treo 180 hinge is a big bulky thing, because it has to be strong enough to support and use it as a phone up to your ear, as well as have the wires/connections for the speaker in the flip lid. The Treo 90 won't have the speaker in the lid, and won't be used as a phone, so the flip lid needs only to attach to the main body and cover the screen (and probably the keyboard keys).

While it seems silly to call it a Treo without wireless built in, I guess you can still do all the same stuff as the 180 or 270 if you have a cell phone and IR link, or a BT cell phone and a BT SD card stuck in the Treo 90.

As for the overall design, I like it. I love my Treo 180, and have looked and and liked the Palm m130. But I've grown to really like the keyboard on the 180, and think that a non-wireless device can benefit just as much from the thumb-board. If they can keep this at the same price as the Palm m130, I think the m130 will have a hard sell against the Treo 90, if only for the fact that people won't be as afraid of the keyboard as much as they often are of graffiti.

I'll pass if its not HI-RES`

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 2:30:04 PM #
not for me if its not hi-res.

btw, does treo means it has wireless support?

RE: I'll pass if its not HI-RES`
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 2:43:56 PM #
I'm with you on that one! High res rules
RE: I'll pass if its not HI-RES`
Ed @ 5/16/2002 2:48:06 PM #
Sorry, I edited the article to make it clearer that Handspring said from the beginning that the new device wouldn't be wireless.

News Editor
RE: I'll pass if its not HI-RES`
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 9:55:49 PM #
isnt treo suppose to be.. 3 in one device? or the SD expansion is replacing wireless connectivity. i wish its hi-res. i might just to wait for the next t-600 series model with good battery life and good buttons.

any news on palm? any rumoured new device?

RE: I'll pass if its not HI-RES`
ijablokov @ 5/17/2002 1:20:26 AM #
Are you sure it doesn't have built-in wireless DATA? I thought this version would be similar to a Palm i705, which is a wireless data device not a wireless voice+data device. Isn't that the point of calling these devices Treo (3 functions).

RE: I'll pass if its not HI-RES`
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/17/2002 4:39:53 PM #
Palm will move on to OS5 and has hi-res screen soon , so who cares about the 160x160 low res outdated stuff.
RE: I'll pass if its not HI-RES`
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/17/2002 8:00:59 PM #
There are lots of people out there who 1) may not be as up-to-speed on OS 5 and 2) may be more focused on the meantime. I can't speak with certainty for anyone else, but I'm in the market for a new device now, and while I may wait for OS 5, part of me is also thinking I should wait until OS 5 has been out for a while. If I have a need now that is not being met, the appropriate thing is not automatically "Wait for OS 5."
RE: I'll pass if its not HI-RES`
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/17/2002 9:52:17 PM #
The benefits from OS5 will be difficult for most consumers to understand not to mention take advantage of. If the Treo 90 turns out to be what PIC is reporting it will be a great product for HS. Clearly the Treo 180 and 270 are the products they are targeting toward the enterprise market while the Treo 90 would seem to be targeted more toward consumers. Hi-Res or not, consumers will love this product because of the keyboard and color screen. Given the success of Palm's new M130, HS coming with a product like this is a great move!


I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 2:33:57 PM #
It looks WAY too thick. And where IS the high-res? $300 for a thick, low-res PDA? Heck, soon the Clié T615 will be that much and all its missing is a keyboard. What a ripoff.
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 2:49:01 PM #
shiver, shiver.....

Is it me or is that thing ugly?

RE: Ick!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 3:12:27 PM #
> soon the Clié T615 will be that much and all its missing is a keyboard

The T615C will soon be discontinued and Sony will have a new model that costs at least $400. Hi-res is great but $100 cheaper is great, too. And a keyboard thrown in.

Sony has great high end and ok low end models but nothing in the middle.

RE: Ick!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/17/2002 11:40:33 AM #
"$300 for a thick, low-res PDA?"

Yep, it's called the Palm m130.

RE: Ick!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/17/2002 12:15:56 PM #
m130 costs $250 moron
RE: Ick!
RedJess @ 5/17/2002 2:24:27 PM #
"m130 costs $250 moron"

I think we could all do with less disparaging remarks on this site. He didn't do anything to deserve that misquoting a price is hardly worth the label of moron. Oh and the price on the Palm website is $279.

RE: Ick!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/19/2002 1:58:27 PM #
Why would anyone buy an 8 MB 160x160 pixel color PDA for 279.00. (Audiovox Maestro 32MB 320x240 dual expansion slots: 299.99) What is Palm thinking?! For competitive pricing the 130 should cost 220.00 to 240.00 at most.

It's true

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 2:32:54 PM #
I mentioned the Treo 90 on Monday in my article on the rising Palm OS marketshare. I had spoken with someone a month ago who told me he had one. He explained every detail. It made a lot of sense in light of Donna's previous cryptic comment. However, I never could get him to send me a picture of it so I was uncomfortable posting the information. Then when it made its way on to a couple of online retailer sites over the weekend I decided to mention it in Monday's article.

I think it is an excellent move on Handspring's part and will compete nicely with the Palm m130.

RE: It's true
Ed @ 5/16/2002 2:41:49 PM #
The article Steve mentioned is here:

I'll admit, I skimmed it on Monday but missed the Treo 90 reference.

News Editor

RE: It's true
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 5:06:44 PM #
You didn't miss the reference Ed, it WASN'T THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Steve is such a hack, if you check the google cache for that page, you'll see he didn't know it was the "Treo 90", nor that it had an SD slot. If Steve's "source" explained it in "every detail", he certainly missed the major detail. Truth be told, Steve is simply lying about knowing anything.

The information he had was exactly what Donna said, a new organizer based on the Treo line, nothing else.

Steve always wants people to think he's in the know, but instead he's simply in the pocket. He has been, and always will be a compulsive liar far too caught up in trying to seem important.

RE: It's true
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 5:50:29 PM #
sounds like someones a bit jealous of steve. could it be wes?
RE: It's true
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 6:34:39 PM #
I admit, when I read the article the day it was posted, I did not notice his mention of the Treo 90. But I'm not 100% sure that it wasn't there, maybe I just missed it?
RE: It's true
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 6:53:27 PM #
Heres what is in google's cache from that page. You can find it yourseld by searching for "Palm OS is HOT".

"Handspring's Treo 180 communicator is the first Palm Powered device to include a full keyboard and Handspring is expected to release a color version, likely under the Sprint name, this summer. Rumor has it that Handspring will also release a new Treo inspired organizer, thinner that the Treo communicator and with a color screen, but not wireless."

Make up your own mind on who's telling the truth here. (Do it quick though, no doubt Steve will have the cached version removed soon since it proves he is not being honest about the original article.)

RE: It's true
dúnadan @ 5/16/2002 7:09:31 PM #
Your quote from Google's cache exactly matches the article as it now reads. How is Steve lying? He said he mentioned this PDA, not that he named it.

Why would you be such a hater as to check Google's cache in the first place? Some people.

RE: It's true
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 7:26:23 PM #
"Your quote from Google's cache exactly matches the article as it now reads. How is Steve lying? He said he mentioned this PDA, not that he named it."

Appears the truth may have caught up with Steve after all, but don't take my word for it, ask Ed who I'm sure read the article today when Steve brought it up.

The previous version contained "Treo 90" as well as the details about it having SD.

RE: It's true
dúnadan @ 5/16/2002 9:27:08 PM #
Even if what you are saying is true, that wouldn't make Steve a liar. He would still be someone that mentioned the Treo 90 without naming it. What's wrong with updating it to contain the more specific info? I am not affiliated with Brighthand, but I have noticed that Steve is careful not to release information prematurely.
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