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Palm Extended Centro Battery EOL'd

Palm's most recent newsletter to their retail and reseller partners indicates that the Centro extended batteries we covered just a few weeks ago have already been EOL'd. Just one month ago, we posted a preview article showcasing this battery and its unsightly white hump of a replacement battery door and fully expect it to hit retail in the very near future.

Both the 3341WW Centro Extended Life Battery with black & red replacement covers as well as the 3379WW Extended Life battery with white and blue covers from Palm appear to have essentially died prior to even hitting the market.

Centro Battery HumpWhile it's possible this is a typo or an erroneous Palm announcement, several official Palm documents indicate that these accessories are stillborn before they ever had any widespread—if any—retail availability. A quick search online turned up a handful of merchants with these product SKUs already in their systems but none with them actually in stock and ready for sale.

It's quite likely that Palm has decided that the small size of the Centro has been compromised by these larger batteries bulging outward and pulled them from their distribution channels at the 11th hour, ala the Foleo cancellation of last year. While nothing is mentioned by Palm in the newsletter, it's entirely probably that a slimmer, reduced capacity OEM-sized battery is forthcoming or some sort of ROM update that manages to improve the performance of the stock Centro battery.

Centro Battery EOL'd

Interestingly enough, Palm appears to want a slice of the lucrative aftermarket Treo/Centro battery market, despite the ironic presence of Seidio aftermarket batteries and covers being offered for sale on Palm's very own online store. Palm's previous March newsletter announcing the arrival of the AT&T Centro states:

Is it true that only Palm-branded batteries can be used with the Centro?
It is. We made this improvement to protect our customers' investment and most importantly, their safety. Palm Centro and Palm batteries talk to each other prior to powering on. In that way we can ensure that batteries used in the Centro meet government and safety agency requirements and regulations. This also guarantees that the Centro will communicate the right information to the user: when the battery indicator claims it has 75% of its power left, it does. "

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Wow - that must set some sort of record...

SeldomVisitor @ 4/18/2008 2:03:08 PM # Q
...uh...if we forget the Fooleo, that is.

RE: Wow - that must set some sort of record...
bhartman34 @ 4/18/2008 2:19:02 PM # Q
I think that might even beat the Foleo! Or at lest tie it, since neither of them actually shipped...

So what are those of us jonesing for a higher capacity battery supposed to do now?!



RE: Wow - that must set some sort of record...
hkklife @ 4/18/2008 2:41:29 PM # Q
The way I figure it, we have a few different scenarios in the works, in order of decreasing likelihood:

1.This is a typo and the batteries are still coming out (perhaps delayed?)

2. Palm's working on a smaller-sized, smaller capacity (1400 NiMH?) OEM-sized batter for the Centro that will fit under the stock battery door.

3. Seidio is about to unleash an OEM-sized, high capacity OEM-sized battery and Palm figured they might throw in the towel as far as the aftermarket battery business.

4.Palm is prepping a mildly upgraded Centro 2 (basically a Centro 1.25) for release -maybe as a Verizon exclusive for the time being-that will have Google My Location functionality built in alongside a higher capacity standard battery.



Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p

RE: Wow - that must set some sort of record...
SeldomVisitor @ 4/18/2008 2:51:17 PM # Q
You forgot another highly-probably reason, IMHO:

N: A market study showed that few who bought a Centro were interested in extended life batteries.

[e.g., I cannot IMAGINE buying an extended life battery for my SE520A phone.]

RE: Wow - that must set some sort of record...
hkklife @ 4/18/2008 3:00:09 PM # Q
Nearly every "power talker" people/execs/corporate type I know that use a smartphone (not just Palm-RIM, Moto, Samsung etc) either bitch & moan incessantly about the poor battery life compared to their old dumbphone and/or have had to buy an extended battery to make it through the day. Mind you, these aren't people watching MPEG movies all day or doing BT DUN, just doing a lot of talking.

I know I feel the pinch when on my 755p's standard 1600mAh battery, so I can imagine how bad the Centro's 1150mAh one would be, especially with BT on.

Or, SV, perhaps it's more like "A market study showed Centro users/owners/potential owners were unwilling to compromise their device's small size/weight with bulky aftermarket batteries". Again, form over function--so perhaps Palm's average customers really are unlike the notoriously difficult PIC crowd!?!?! :-)



Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p

RE: Wow - that must set some sort of record...
SeldomVisitor @ 4/18/2008 3:03:59 PM # Q
Centro owners are not powerusers.

They are dumb cellphone users (left or right associative as you may like!) who bought Centros instead.

RE: Wow - that must set some sort of record...
SeldomVisitor @ 4/18/2008 3:07:35 PM # Q
From the latest earnings transcript:

== "...Centro is also attracting non-traditional customers to
== smartphones. More than 70% of Centro buyers are traditional
== cell phone users who are buying a smartphone for the first time..."


RE: Wow - that must set some sort of record...
hkklife @ 4/18/2008 3:29:35 PM # Q
It'll never happen, but....ya know what I'd love to see?

The breakdown between Centro purchasers who are upgrading from an older Palm OS smartphone vs. the 70% you cite. Is that 70% comprised of users going from a dumbphone + an older Palm OS PDA OR dumbphone users jumping on the smartphone bandwagon?

I think that while Palm likes to put the spin on Centro attracting dumbphone converts, MY $ would surprsing numbers revealing the Centro being a "cheap" last-gasp/interim/sideways upgrade/nowhere else to turn alternative for owners of older Treos (650, 600), flawed Treos (700p), or various Palm OS handhelds who have no other upgrade path in sight and want to extend the longevity of some of their critical/preferred apps. That is, I still think people are buying the Centro because of price, size, & ability to run legacy Palm OS apps, not because of some killer app or functionality that compels dumbphone users to upgrade.

In short, I have a hunch that the Centro is keeping the POS installed base from contracting further, NOT growing it appreciably.

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p

RE: Wow - that must set some sort of record...
col317 @ 4/18/2008 5:51:07 PM # Q
I can speak for myself as a long time palm user. My current T3 is having some problems and I've already replaced the battery once. I don't want to buy another palm unit unless it is a one device unit, which I'm starting to think would be nicer. I'm considering the 755p or the centro if verizon ever gets it. The centro is very appealing due to the cost and size - not too much invested or to loose if I do something different later. It also has a nice feel in the hand. But I don't want to wait as long as it took verizon to come out with the 755p, that is if they are in fact going to have the centro as rumored. I hope they do. Anyone heard anything else?

Steve

RE: Wow - that must set some sort of record...
TooMuch @ 4/18/2008 6:16:01 PM # Q
"Centro owners are not powerusers.
They are dumb cellphone users (left or right associative as you may like!) who bought Centros instead."

Go whine in your bedroom. I think you may have fooleo'd yourself.

RE: Wow - that must set some sort of record...
hkklife @ 4/18/2008 6:44:55 PM # Q
Are you SURE you want a converged "one device" unit? You will be giving up the 3.5mm headphone jack, snappy performance, and the 320x480 screen of the T3.

If you must go with a smartphone, the Centro has snappier performance, marginally better voice quality, a louder speakerphone, a moderately improved camera, and a slightly more modern OS/software bundle. It's also cheaper than the Treos but the weak battery and small screen/keyboard are major turn-offs for many power users (myself included).

The 755p improves over the Centro with a larger & better keyboard, better stylus, larger screen, more available peripherals, and higher-capacity stock batter with the option of more powerful 2200mAh Seidio aftermarket batteries in the same OEM size. The 755p also has better build quality and the nice soft-touch rubberized coating. The choice of miniSD may or may not be a factor to you, as might the more subdued "professional" appearance.

Remember, if you end up with ANY smartphone tied to a 2-year contract, it'll be very difficult and/or expensive to "change" devices during that contract period....caveat emptor!


Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p

RE: Wow - that must set some sort of record...
nastebu @ 4/18/2008 7:40:12 PM # Q
You know, I've been seeing a lot of teenagers on the subway with Centros (and a ton of iPod Touches too). Yes, that's way anecdotal, but the subway is a good cross section of New York and so pretty good at predicting fashion trends.

I buy Palm's spin on this one. The Centro is a very low cost upgrade to a phone that sounds pretty good from the description on the box.

If I was Palm, I'd feel pretty good about that. On the minus side, I wouldn't count on a lot of third party applications being sold, and I wouldn't count on much brand loyalty. I'm betting a lot of those kids would rather have bought a blackberry or an iPhone, and aren't getting too invested in their Palm.

I'm still vaguely tempted myself, but it looks like my wish list is coming soon to the iPhone, so I guess I'll just wait.

RE: Wow - that must set some sort of record...
col317 @ 4/18/2008 8:03:03 PM # Q
Are you happy with your new 755p and verizon contract? I'm assuming you didn't pay full price. $200 with renewed contract at verizon makes it more appealing, better even for the centro (maybe). Keyboard could be an issue.

I do agree that contracts are a pain and I don't really like being tied into one.

As far as a pda, I only use my T3 for scheduling and contacts mostly and a couple other programs. I don't even bother with word and excel docs anymore as I prefer layout on larger size like my macbook for that. With the demands of my work changes have come as o how I use my T3, but I always need my cell phone because it's my business line. In fact I find that I carry it everywhere and leave my T3 home - I just don't like carrying around both.

So for me one device is perfect even if I have to sign the evil two year contract. I just need to make sure I get the one I really want as I don't typically buy a new phone just because my contract is up. So any opinions about the two devices is appreciated.

Steve

RE: Wow - that must set some sort of record...
rpa @ 4/18/2008 11:57:00 PM # Q
col317: I used my Palm for basic PIM functions (T|E) and went with an unlocked GSM Centro. At first, I missed the larger screen and metal stylus of the T|E but I am now happy with the Centro as a solo device. Some have commented that the screen and qwerty are too small but I don't have any problem with either. I looked at the Treo 680 but I did not want such a large form factor. The Centro feels good in the hand and fits comfortably in a pocket. The camera is surprisingly good for 1.3 MP and I use it all the time for work related snapshots where professional quality is not needed. All in all, a real upgrade from a PDA and dumb phone.

rpa
Palm Pilot >> Palm Vx >> Tungsten E >> GSM Centro
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