Treo Communicator Now Available... Sort Of
Handspring is now taking orders for the Treo Communicator on its U.S. webstore. Despite a message that appears on the site that says the devices are "Now Shipping", further on is a message that says orders placed with Cingular Wireless service plans or without service activation are expected to be delivered within one or two weeks. Orders placed with VoiceStream service plans are expected to begin shipping on February 25. The Treo is $400 with a new service plan or $550 without.
Prices for service depend on the provider and the plan. Handspring has a trade-up offer, good only until March 3, that that will allow current VisorPhone users to buy a Treo for $400 and switch their service plan to the new device.
Both versions of the Treo, with the built-in keyboard and without, are the same price.
Three weeks ago, Handspring CEO Donna Dubinsky revealed that production of the Treo had run into a glitch and the company was going to delay its roll-out in the U.S. At the time, she said the wireless smartphone would be available online in limited quantities in February and in U.S. retail stores in March. A bit over a week ago, Ms. Dubinsky said that the parts shortage that was causing the delay was being cleared up and she believed the Treo would meet that revised schedule. The company has yet to say which vendor caused the problem or what part it is short of.
The Treo uses the GSM standard, which has almost 100% coverage in Europe and is widely used in Asia. The U.S., on the other hand, has a hodge-podge of wireless standards and GSM is available in only a few areas. Handspring is working on a CDMA version of the Treo for the U.S. but it is not yet available and the company will only say it will be out before the end of this year.
Thanks to SaxonMan for the tip. -Ed
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