MW: My role for the development of the Treo 700p smartphone was two fold. First, because I was the lead on the Treo 650, I provided the institutional knowledge needed to ensure that we continue to meet the ever-increasing demands of our customers. Second, as the director of the program, my job was to oversee the development of the core requirement to innovate on our world-class usability.
MW: 1) First all-in-one Treo smartphone with EvDO and Palm OS
2) 128MB memory (60MB user dedicated storage) and 2GB or greater SD support
3) First Treo Smartphone with built-in Dial-up Networking (DUN) capabilities
4) Supports native Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents and PDF files on the go
5) New multimedia features, including 1.3-megapixel digital camera and built-in streaming for audio and video
MW: The Treo 700p does not have built-in Wi-Fi, and will not support the SDIO Wi-Fi card, but the Treo 700p does support EvDO, which means broadband-like speeds for users.
In general, integrating Wi-Fi creates big tradeoffs in terms of form factor and battery life, and those are two of the top customer priorities in purchasing a smartphone.
In this product, customers will benefit from the product’s DUN (dial-up networking) capabilities. Customers can use the Treo as a modem to connect to their computer and, since the Treo 700p uses a high-speed EvDO radio, users won’t have to rely on finding a fee-based Wi-Fi hot spot to be able to access the web at broadband-like speeds. DUN will be available with a monthly service charge from the carrier, and could be less expensive than Wi-Fi service.
MW: The target customer is someone that places a higher priority on balance and flexibility in their lives than solely on professional success. They are technically savvy and understand the value offered by the EvDO network’s high-speed data capabilities. This product has broad appeal; Treo 700p customers will use this product at work and at play.
Certainly, businesses that have standardized on the Palm OS may be interested in taking a closer look at the Palm Treo 700p smartphone.
Getting Sprint/Nextel and Verizon to enable DUN shows that Palm is getting taken a lot more seriously by the wireless carriers. Will the Treo be released in a GSM flavor, as well? If so, can you share any target dates and carriers for the release of the GSM version
MW: It is Palm’s policy not to discuss products that may or may not appear in the future. However, we have stated publicly that Palm will announce four new Treo platforms this year. The Treo 700p is the second so far.
MW: It is Palm’s policy not to discuss products that may or may not appear in the future. That said, I can confirm that Palm is committed to our very loyal base of smartphone and handheld Palm OS customers. We intend to continue delivering products that delight our business customers and general consumers. In fact, Palm extended its license agreement with PalmSource, permitting us to make and market products based on the Palm OS until the year 2010.
MW: It is Palm’s policy not to discuss products that may or may not appear in the future. With that said, Ed (Colligan-CEO) has shared that Palm would introduce four new smartphones in calendar year 2006. When he says new smartphones, he is referring to a combination of operating system, new hardware design, new radio technology or other significant advancement.
You have a long history with Palm and the Treo. From that unique vantage point, is there anything that you would like to say to our audience about the Palm road map?
MW: Over the past 10 years, Palm has created many award-winning products while always maintaining the same philosophy of simplicity, usability and innovation. As our lives become increasingly complex and more mobile, we see the future of personal computing as mobile computing. You can expect Palm to continue providing world-class products that delight users. Finally, Palm will continue being relentless about increasing the ease-of-use of our products.
Thanks again to Michelle White for agreeing to do this interview during an extremely busy time. This willingness to provide Palm Addict with the same level of briefing as the NY Times has become typical for the Palm Management of Ed Colligan. This is just another way that today’s Palm, Inc. is demonstrating its commitment to its customers.
BOTTOM LINE: For those folks who have the need for a smart device, the Treo 700p will find great favor. Well done, Palm!