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Treo 800w Spotted at Gates' CES Keynote?

Treo 800wBill Gates concluded his 12th and final CES keynote with a small tidbit that left Palm-watchers everywhere speculating about the existence of yet another new Windows Mobile Treo. Several sites, Engadget in particular, posted stills from Gates' slideshow imagery of Windows Mobile-based smartphones. A device clearly identifiable as the classic Treo formfactor was shown in white or possibly light silver with a square (likely 320x320) LCD running what presumably is the touchscreen-based WM 6.1 Professional. The device also appears to have a "smile" keyboard and the Centro/Z22/LifeDrive-esque "ring" 5-way navigator pad. It also has a section of dark grey plastic surrounding the earpiece, which is a styling cue not found on any current Treo or Centro.

While some have speculated that this is the mythical Treo 800w or 850v, codenamed "Drucker" we covered yesterday, that device's spec sheet listed it as having a flush touchscreen. The device depicted in Gates' presentation definitely has the conventional recessed touchscreen. I expect this to be the CDMA 800w device hinted at for several months now. Such a device has likely been in gestation longer than the "Drucker" and might not some of the Drucker’s cutting-edge styling cues such as the flush screen.

Another possibility is that this is a lower-priced WM 6.x Professional-based device intended to replace the Treo 750 or, more likely, the ancient 700w/700wx. Such as device could omit the avant-garde styling cues of a flagship “Drucker” Treo and possibly remove GPS and/or wi-fi while still slotting in above the Treo 500v and its "Wanda" successor.

Not counting carryover models with a longer shelf life such as the 750 and 500v, Palm’s WM-based lineup going into the fall of 2008 could conceivably contain four or more handsets:

  1. The high-end flagship "Drucker" GSM Treo and its high-end CDMA equivalent, the mythical 800w.
  2. A possible midrange CDMA (or CDMA & GSM) WM Professional Treo hinted at here to replace the 700wx and/or the 750 (if the device leaked by Bill Gates is not the 800w).
  3. The low-end WM Standard Treo 500v replacement "Wanda".

Given the fact that the Treo 750's oft-delayed WM6 upgrade was previously revealed in a similar manner by Microsoft nearly a year ago, I think the chances of this being a production model are quite high.

Thanks to Dirk Meissner for the tip.

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Crack-Crack-Squeak-Crack-Moan

LiveFaith @ 1/7/2008 1:42:16 PM # Q
Crack-Crack-Squeak-Crack-Moan ...Looks like the glacier is about to move a little more. Should only be a very little while now.

Pat Horne
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Wake me up...

mikecane @ 1/7/2008 2:17:16 PM # Q
... when they have something *I* want to buy.

And that *won't* be one of their damned all-look-alike-and-fugly-too phones.

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screen 480x320?

robera @ 1/7/2008 2:46:47 PM # Q
When are we going to see a 480x320 screen on TREO?.Why after so long, even after the iPhone is so dificult to Palm realize that some people needs big screen?
My TX is getting very very old:(

RE: screen 480x320?
Alfa @ 1/7/2008 4:42:27 PM # Q
I want a 480*320 too!!!

RE: screen 480x320?
hkklife @ 1/7/2008 4:59:50 PM # Q
NEVER!
Or at least not for the next 12-18 months.

Who needs gigs of storage, 3.5mm headphone jacks, wi-fi, large metal styli, and large, high-res screens when you can have a mini QWERTY boards, 32mb of RAM, and a small square screen?

Palm has shown time & time again that they've never been really fully behind 320x480, not even in the "golden years" of the T3/T5/LifeDrive.

Palm was DELIGHTED at the explosion of the Treo & the smartphone market in general. Abandoning PDAs meant that Palm could retreat to the safety of HIGH-margin smartphones (just look at the Treo 650--it was T|E-type specs at 3x the cost!) and cut their R&D efforts down to the bone!

We have yet to see a Treo that fully surpasses any of Palm's PDA efforts over the past 4 years. Sure, the "me too" Treo 500v has some nice multimedia features, but it's a rebranded offering and is missing a lot of the nice Palm touches such as the ring/vibrate switch and the smile keyboard. Give me something with 320x480 (minimum), the TX's wi-fi, the LifeDrive's 4gigs of internal storage (but in flash form) and the T3's overall speed & stability in addition to EVDO and a removable battery. THEN I'll sit up and take notice. And I don't want to have to go WinMob to get it, either.

Otherwise, mediocure specs and small square screens aren't going to cut it anymore. Palm doesn't even see fit to integrate desired "low tech" features like a standard 3.5mm stereo headphone jack or a larger 320x320 LCD for their users with less than 20/20 vision.

Here are the features that OS 5/Garnet has proven to capably handle YEARS ago. There's no reason Palm could not put at least 1/24 of these into a new upper-midrange Treo/Centro running Garnet 5.4.999

-416mhz CPU (LifeDrive & T5)
-Internal flash storage volume (T5)
-Huge capacity 1800mAh battery (Treo 650 & 700p/w or 1500mAh in T|C)
-Wi-fi (LifeDrive, T|C, TX)
-OLED screen (Sony VZ90)
-320x480 LCD (T3, T5, TX, LifeDrive) or large 480x320 LCD in Tapwave Zodiac
-Non-flimsy, non-toothpick stylus (All older Treos & T|T-era "boing boing" stylus)
-Reset button (every Treo prior to the 680)
-Fullsize SDHC slot (700p 1.1 ROM and 680)
-Integrated GPS (All of Garmin's iQue PDAs)
-High quality 2 megapixel camera (Sony NZ90 Clie)
-Dual memory slots (Zodiac, several Clies, HandEra 330 etc)

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

RE: screen 480x320?
numlock @ 1/7/2008 5:13:30 PM # Q
Even the next BlackBerry is rumored to have a 480x320 screen, Palm better get with it soon.
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What??

cstamper @ 1/7/2008 4:26:26 PM # Q
Saw the pic rushing by this page. Thought, "Wow, a new color for the centro'. Then I read the headline/saw the ugly thing.

Palm is so innovative.

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Good 700wx Replacement

theog @ 1/8/2008 5:12:05 PM # Q
This is a good 700wx replacement phone... the intended crowd, of course. I don't want a huge screen and no damn keyboard. No thanks...

I could also really care less about what it looks like as long as it has a decent keyboard, WinMob 6.1, and good hardware specs.

That will carry me another year until either palm gets their HOOTA and release a stable Palm OS or WinMob 7 is released. Or HTC comes out with something that blows palm into the ground....

Vote for John Kerry... best man for the job.

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