Palm Targets Consumers with New Treo

The GSM-based Treo 680 smart phone, announced at Digital Life, is intended to increase Palm's market share.

NEW YORK—Palm announced on Oct. 12 the Treo 680, the first of the companys smart phones to specifically target the consumer market.

While Palms smart phones are widely used within enterprises, this is the first Treo designed for a general audience. The Treo 680, released at the Digital Life trade show, also is the first Treo to have an internal antenna.

The new quad-band (850/900/1,800/1,900) phone will use GSM technology and run on GSM, GPRS and Edge Class 10 networks. The Treo 680 is intended to increase Palms demographic and geographic market share, said Ed Colligan, president and CEO of Palm.

"With this product, were trying to connect with more people around the world," Colligan said at the show. "Weve been focused in the past on mobile professionals, on reaching IT people using [our products] in their business life. We hope this product will reach a more accessible group … and [will] benefit them personally as well as with their work usage."

Palm officials did not disclose the price of the Treo 680 or its availability. They did said that the smart phone will make its debut in the United States and will eventually be available worldwide.

GSM networks are widely used in Europe and Asia, and by the T-Mobile and Cingular carriers in the United States. While Colligan did not rule out the possibility of a CDMA-based phone, he said that CDMA networks are less common worldwide and may not make sense for the Treo 680.

The Treo 680, which runs the Palm operating system, is the first Treo with an internal antenna—a feature that will not reduce the devices reception, according to Palm officials.

The smart phone is powered by an Intel 312MHz processor and will have 64MB of user memory and 64MB of SDRAM.

The Treo 680 has a 320-by-320 TFT display. The smart phone—available in gray, orange, white and red —offers Bluetooth connectivity. It does not have Wi-Fi capabilities, however, and will not support Palms Wi-Fi card.

Palm officials said the Treo 680 will deliver as much as 4 hours of talk time and 300 hours of standby time.

Senior Writer Anne Chen can be reached at anne_chen@ziffdavis.com

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