Treo 800w Still Rumored for Verizon

Treo 800wA new rumor circulating online courtesy of Phone Arena has some interesting but bizarre details concerning a possible leaked Verizon Wireless handset roadmap. Despite having reached EOL status on Sprint after less than one year of service, Palm's Windows Mobile 6-based is reportedly coming to Verizon Wireless.

According to the report, this device's Verizon debut may not occur until February 2010, which is the timeframe that many users have been hoping for the Pre's Verizon debut. After the initial 2007 rumors, the device's release seemed certain for Q3 2008 last year, as the device even was mentioned in an internal Verizon presentation. However, 2008 concluded with no additional details about the device until now.

The saga of the Verizon Treo 800w has been a long and bizarre saga, with the earliest rumors of the device's arrival on Verizon beginning over two years ago. At the time of its release with Sprint, the 800w was Palm's Windows Mobile-powered flagship Treo but it has ceded this status to the newer, sleeker Treo Pro.

Despite its age, the Treo 800w still offers a number of improvements over Verizon's most recent Windows Mobile-based Treo, the 700wx. EVDO Rev. A, a much faster CPU, more RAM/ROM, fully SDHC-compatible microSD slot, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, integrated GPS and 802.11g wi-fi are all key upgrades from the ancient 700wx platform. A 2 megapixel camera (or a reduced 1.3mp if you believe last year's Verizon slide) rounds out the package. However, with new high-resolution WM handsets such as the Samsung Omnia II and HTC Touch Pro 2 heading to Verizon, the aged, chunky 800w may suffer quite a bit in comparison to these newer devices.

Assuming this rumor is true and does come to pass, It will be interesting to see if Palm bumps any of the 800w's specs up for Verizon, as they did with the Treo Pro's CPU and storage memory specs when that device arrived on Sprint earlier this year. The 800w notably lacks 3.5mm or 2.5mm headset jacks, ships with an undersized 1150mAh battery on comparison to the Treo Pro, and has the older mini-USB connector instead of the microUSB connector Palm has seemingly made standard on their newest devices.

Personally, I am far more inclined to believe that the Treo Pro will be finding its way to Verizon for several reasons. First, Verizon's newly-acquired Alltel subsidiary offers the CDMA Treo Pro but has never had a variant of the 800w. Secondly, the Pro is a much newer and more compelling device that shares some of the Pre's design aesthetics (3.5mmheadset port, microUSB charger). Indeed, either the 800w or Treo Pro on Verizon could be the receipient of a halo effect from the Pre much similar to how AT&T and Best Buy seemingly began "officially" offering a subsidized Treo Pro after the strong response to the Pre earlier this year.

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Well...Palm DID say...

SeldomVisitor @ 7/20/2009 10:07:42 AM # Q
...they had an unexpected sale of inventory they already wrote off so maybe the 800w thing IS true!

From the last "earnings" (giggle) call:

== "...Gross margins in the quarter also
== benefited from ... unexpected demand for
== inventory that had been previously written
== down..."

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TIming seems odd

sbono13 @ 7/20/2009 2:07:27 PM # Q
Seems odd that Verizon would pay so far in advance if they weren't planning on launching until Feb 2010. Maybe Palm threatened to bury them in a landfill unless Verizon bought them right away.
RE: TIming seems odd
hkklife @ 7/20/2009 10:11:01 PM # Q
Hmmm, no, my suspicion is that they are going to flash 'em with WM 6.1 and sell it as the new VZW entry-level <$99 "Palm" phone. VZW probably got those 800ws for pennies on the dollar as an easy replacement for the Centro, which is basically gone already.

Besides, if/when the Pre DOES come to VZW, it'll look better for there to be more than a single Palm device on store shelves and the 800w doesn't trump the Pre in battery capacity the way the Pro does. I could conceivably see the 800w lasting for ~6 months or less on Verizon, bridging the Centro to Pre gap, then being replaced in Q2 2010 by the Treo Pro.
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

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Verizon Rumors

Amroth @ 7/21/2009 4:08:21 AM # M Q
Whatever happens, if VZW doesn't get a Pro or Pre by January, I will grudgingly leave my Palm days behind and get a Tour. I'm so tired of my 755 that I carry my iPod Touch around in addition to my phone like I used to with my old T5!
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