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Part Shortage Delays Treo Rollout

In a conference call after announcing its most recent quarterly results, Handspring's CEO Donna Dubinsky revealed that the release of the Treo has been delayed by parts shortages. The Treo is being manufactured but in smaller numbers than the company wants.

Handspring has decided to send the majority of Treo handhelds that do get produced this month to Europe. The Treo line uses the GSM wireless standard which is far more prevalent in Europe than in the U.S.

According to Ms. Dubinsky, U.S. buyers should be able to find the Treo online in limited quantities during February but it won't be available in large enough quantities for retail stores until March.

She didn't say exactly what part was in short supply.

Earlier today, mm02 Plc, the British mobile phone group, agreed to distribute and market Handspring's Treo line of smartphones in Europe.

This is Part Two of a three part series on Handspring's quarterly report and the associated conference call. Part One covers the financial results while Part Three is about Handspring's plan to phase out the Visor. -Ed

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Disappointing

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 12:04:51 AM #
This is really disappointing. Been waiting for a phone - now I have to wait longer. Do I just get some free phone and get Voicestream (since it's the only service that seems to be able to work with Treo in my area.)

Do I wait for new PalmPhone?

All I want is a cell phone/pda with a mini keyboard. Graffiti sucks.

RE: Disappointing
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 4:53:20 AM #
> All I want is a cell phone/pda with a mini keyboard. Graffiti sucks.

Danger's hiptop device is supposed to be out in March.
Everytime I see video of that baby I want I want..

The Treo would be nice if you could do data/voice
simultaneously, but since it can't.. well it's sorta
useless isn't it?


RE: Disappointing
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 11:35:39 AM #
Is there anything ont eh market that offer data/voice right now? Ans just why would it be useless ebcuase ti cant use data/voice at tehe same time? You taling as if peiople will eb surfing all day on this thing.

RE: Disappointing
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 2:37:27 PM #
>> The Treo would be nice if you could do data/voice
simultaneously, but since it can't.. well it's sorta
useless isn't it? <<

Correct me if I'm wrong, but once GPRS support is added to the Treo (granted, it won't be there intially) there will be an always-on IP connection to the device. So, to say it can't do voice/data is only a temporary condition which Handspring fully expects to resolve.

Of course, finding GPRS service in your area is a whole 'nother story!



RE: Disappointing
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 7:24:44 AM #
GPRS is not always on. Depends on the implementation in the terminal. Most are using 'application driven' attach to the GPRS network, rather than attaching at power on, as far as I am aware. Thus there still needs to be some form of push event (probably over a SMS or WSP bearer) to generate notifications for things like email alerts, and prompt the terminal to bring up the GPRS connection.

Would be interesting to understand how RIM implemented there email solution in the GPRS device. Any one know?

There are a number of GPRS classes. I would guess at Treo being class B, which doesn't support simulatneous voice + data. However, voice can suspend a data session and then resume it on disconnect.

RE: Disappointing
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 10:00:15 AM #
> Is there anything ont eh market that offer data/voice
> right now? Ans just why would it be useless ebcuase
> ti cant use data/voice at tehe same time? You taling
> as if peiople will eb surfing all day on this thing.

You wouldn't be able to use webclipping for taking
orders or looking up information while you are talking
to a client. That sorta thing, which is 90% of my
usage scenarios. The other 10% is talking for an hour
with a client and doing other things like checking/
answering incoming email etc while we wait for his Windows
to reboot or something, but I couldn't do that either.

Finally Handspring gets jacked

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 12:14:26 AM #
Palm got whipped for being sloppy, and now Handsping finally gets its cherry busted...it's clear that nobody is immune to fate's cruel hand....they'll bounce back though, as I hope Palm will...

no treo

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 3:24:29 AM #
This is amazing! This whole time they knew it would be released in March! That was their first announcment. This is purely a method to no lose any market share and to gain investments like Qualqom etc....

If Palm can get new devices out now and sony, handspring is betting too much on treo and on top of it they are now going to the dance LATE!!

RE: no treo
JeepBastard @ 1/16/2002 8:20:52 AM #
I put my cell phone and PDA purchase off for this? I really thought it was coming in January. I don't think I can hold out much longer.

Even worse, I'll wait for Danger if it comes out too close to the release date for that.


This is really disappointing.

[http://www.mediathreat.net]

RE: no treo
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 9:15:57 AM #
> This whole time they knew it would be released in March!

The FTC makes sure companies don't do **** like that. If they do, they get hardcore fined. You'll have to give up your conspiracy theory. It's not true.

Ha, a Sony wireless device. That's funny. Thanks for making me smile.

Part shortage?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 6:44:23 AM #
Anyone want to guess ;-)

> She didn't say exactly what part was in short supply.

OOOHhh... let me see.... it must be the highly-engineered plastic case. No, it's the flip cover. They're in such high demand they can't get enough for the launch.

Realistically speaking. It must be the GSM module. Phone companies may be creating a shortage ;-)

In any case, a GSM phone for the US market is suicide. Good luck to Handspring.



RE: Part shortage?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 12:30:00 PM #
"In any case, a GSM phone for the US market is suicide. Good luck to Handspring."

Maybe that's why they're releasing in Europe first, eh?

RE: Part shortage?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 1:08:01 PM #
Maybe, so, but the GSM isn't going to be a hit in the US as coverage sucks and the pricing sucks as well.

The Treo (GSM variety) will be facing stiff competition in Europe. We'll see how they do against the big boys.

RE: Part shortage?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 2:40:45 PM #
>> In any case, a GSM phone for the US market is suicide. <<

Really? So VoiceStream is quickly going into the toilet as we speak?

Actually, I admit that I don't know any specific numbers for carrier signups/churn/etc but it appears to me that VoiceStream is signing up customers on GSM left and right .... and that's without having a phone as cool as the Treo. AT&T is in the process of upgrading to GSM/GPRS as well, from what I understand. So, I don't think the lack of CDMA capabilities will be such a huge marketing mistake. If anything, I think the Treo will help bring grow the customer base for the GSM carriers more than they would have otherwise ... which will then increase the coverage of GSM in the US.



RE: Part shortage?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 3:47:36 PM #
It looks like the CDMA version may be coming out close to the same time as the GSM version which will definitely hurt VoiceStream. I for one was thinking about switching from Sprint - CDMA to VoiceStream if the Treo came out in January. The pricing is the same and they both work in my home and office area.

RE: Part shortage?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 4:11:39 PM #
Y'all do know that AT&T is going GSM right? And what about Cingulair? Anyhow....

RE: Part shortage?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 4:12:49 PM #
Also, the Wismo module which the Treo is built on (produced by Wavecom btw) is being upgraded to CDMA. So all they have to do is swap out one part, and voila!

RE: Part shortage?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 5:35:17 PM #
All of you who are talking about GSM being suicide are complete idiots and clearly demonstrate why most people shouldn't be allowed to do such things as speak in public forums (or purchase communicators/PDA's, or drive a car, etc). GSM is the WORLD'S most popular wireless technology. Its adoption rate in the US has been staggering over the last 2 years or so, and two of the largest carriers in the US, AT&T Wireless and Cingular, are joining Voicestream by converting/overlaying their networks with GSM. Please do not post unless you understand what you are writing about.

RE: Part shortage?
fleegle @ 1/16/2002 5:46:22 PM #
Yes, I think GSM is still growing, but they have a lot of catching up to do. I was a customer of Pac Bell (now Cingular) for more than three years. I waited for their coverage area to grow. It has, but at a really slow rate. Since it is only digital, you get really spotty service when driving between metropolitan areas. IMHO, Europe has the advantage because they have more cities closer together, therefore, better coverage.

I had to eventually change services because I want coverage at all times.

Who knows, if they get better coverage, I might go back to them.

RE: Part shortage?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 6:50:34 PM #
The part shortage is probably due to the fact that they blatenly ripped off the blackberry keyboard from Research In Motion and are now paying for it..

Besides, the RIM product is way better.. They're moving to a GPRS device too...

i705 - hint i just got trained

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 5:27:50 PM #
i705 is the best ever. instant messaging.

palminsider@yahoo.com

RE: i705 - hint i just got trained
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 6:26:33 PM #
How do you know? You actually have one? If so :
Does it look like the pics show it? I know of two people that actually have a pre production unit. Not near me, but online. The pics make it look real ugly. I hope its not like that.
http://pdan.has.it


oversupply to shortage?

drw @ 1/16/2002 11:18:34 PM #
1) Organizer companies need to get their part orderers on the task sooner. Palm III chips are going straight into landfills and Treos are delayed. Sounds like a job for someone who can organize this stuff.

2) What is meant by simultaneous data and voice? I place purchase orders on my kyocera 6035 while reading from handyshopper. Isn't that data+voice, accessing palm functions while talking? I never really thought that not being able to surf the web while talking was a limitation since I'm only paying for one phone line.

3) Peeking ahead to next article. "Senator: You're no John Kennedy". Handspring: you're no Nokia. They've got to be joking about transitioning from an organizer to a communicator business. Of course both businesses are tough as your new product gets eclipsed within a month. What is this thing you all are calling "danger"?


David in Pflugerville, TX

Fishy parts shortage

mikecane @ 1/17/2002 9:57:36 AM #
The globe is in recession, all tech companies have lowered profits and stock values, and yet there is a parts shortage? I can believe this in a boom, but not during a bust. J'Accuse!

RE: Fishy parts shortage
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 5:42:59 PM #
I'm sure it's the GSM module. That's a custom chip that they are sole-sorced on (Wismo). Everything else in their should be very easy to get. LCD fabs and plastics companies all have extra capacity.

Treo FAIL FAIL FAIL

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 3:48:42 PM #
This piece of crap will fail terribly. If you own any stock in Crapspring you had better sell it. Yeah just what I wanted a clunky pda to my ear!

Ignorance
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 4:08:42 PM #
You haven't even seen a Treo have you? Or talked to anyone who has or read anything about it. I can't give you too hard a time about making this snap judgement. I know almost nothing about you and I already think you're a loser.

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