Sprint Treo Pro Now Official
A chief contributor to yesterdays grim quarterly Palm earnings preview has been the lengthy delays in getting a carrier-backed version of the Treo Pro onto U.S. store shelves. Now the long- awaited Treo Pro for Sprint has been officially announced by Sprint as of today. The CDMA version of the Treo Pro, arriving some six months after its GSM sibling, boasts several enhanced hardware specs, including a needed CPU boost to 528mhz, and it will also be one of the first devices to ship with the updated Internet Explorer Mobile 6.
Availability in Sprint's retail stores will commence on March 15th, with B2B and Palm.com availability following one day later. The device will carry a $199.99 price tag with a two-year subscriber agreement (after a $100 instant rebate and $100 mail-in rebate, with an Everything plan with data or a $30 per month or higher data add-on). Full retail price for the device is reported to be a staggering $549.99.
There is no official word on what caused the device's initial delay, which was initially rumored to have February 15th launch date. Nevertheless, the lengthy saga of the Treo Pro in CDMA form has been one of the worst-kept secrets in Palm's recent history, with a handful of units actually making their way into customers' hands in February via Best Buy before the device was quietly pulled from store shelves. Palm and Sprint's previous Wndows Mobile-powered device, the Treo 800w, was only released in July 2008 but is scheduled to reach EOL status next month as the sleeker Treo Pro replaces it in the lineup.
Treo Pro is the first Palm phone available with Internet Explorer Mobile 6, with provides options for either a mobile-optimized or desktop-like Internet browsing experience. The Treo Pro also fully supports Microsoft Direct Push Technology for up-to-date email, contacts and calendars. With Microsoft's System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008, Treo Pro can deliver increased security, easier smartphone management, and access to information on the corporate network.
"The combination of Sprint Mobile Broadband with EV-DO (Evolution - Data Optimized) Revision (Rev.) A technology and Windows Mobile 6.1 on a Palm smartphone creates a mobile solution that meets the needs of today's mobile professionals," said Kevin Packingham, senior vice president of product & technology development for Sprint. "For years, Sprint, Microsoft and Palm have worked together to provide businesses large and small with an affordable mobile experience that is second to none, and Treo Pro continues that collaborative tradition."
With the Sprint Treo Pro now headed to market and an Alltel-branded version rather surprisingly in the works, the main remaining question for the Palm faithful is when the WebOS-powered Pre will arrive and what its price tag will be at launch. As of this writing, there has been no word as of yet on any other domestic carriers such as Verizon or AT&T jumping on board the Treo Pro ship. In addition, no new Windows Mobile 6.5-based Palm devices have been rumored, so the Treo Pro may have to hold the fort as WebOS steals most of the limelight in the future.