Sunday, June 28, 2009

What's Up with Palm on AT&T?

I was just looking at the AT&T website, and I noticed that there are no Centro or Treo 750 smartphones available for sale. I'll admit that both devices, the Palm OS 5 Centro and the Windows Mobile Treo 750 aren't new devices by any definition, but you would expect that AT&T would still have some units in stock.

I have read some Internet rumors that said that the Palm webOS powered Eos smartphone would be arriving on the AT&T network sometime around the end of the year, but nothing specific. I have also not read anythign that would indicate that Palm is halted the sale of the AT&T smartphones.

Windows Mobile customers can still get the Palm Treo Pro as an unlocked device and use their existing AT&T 3G SIM cards with the device if they wish.

I'll have to keep an eye on this one.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

People Love Their Pre Smartphones

We tend to get a little fanatical about mobile technology around a site like Smartphone Fanatics. That said, people really love their new Pre smartphones! One example is a review from Jenny Levin, a librarian in Chicago, IL.

Ms. Levin has posted a review of the Pre on her blog, The Shifted Librarian, which has been written from the point of view of a Palm Treo or Centro owner who is considering the jump from Palm OS 5 to webOS.
"When I picked up my new Palm Pre smartphone last week, one of the store employees said, “You must have been waiting for this phone for a long time.” He could tell I was excited about it. I told him I’d been waiting for this phone for nine years, six of them on Palm Treos and a Centro, waiting for the next leap.

And now that I finally have it, I can say that while it’s quite clearly a first generation device, I love it. This post will explain why, but it won’t be a comparison of the iPhone versus the Pre. I’ve only played with an iPhone a couple of times, so it wouldn’t be fair, plus everyone knows I’m not a fan of Apple, so I can’t really be objective about this. So instead, this will be a review of the Pre from the perspective of a Treo/Centro owner wondering if she should upgrade, because that’s the question I’m getting asked the most. Back in 2003, I started a popular page called What’s on My Treo 600 that listed all of the apps I used and as a result, I heard from Palm owners for years (and occasionally still do), so this is an area I know well.

In fact, a lot of my issues with the Pre come from features the Treos/Centros did better, but I’ll also describe what’s new, both the good and the bad. As a result, this will be a long review, so skip this post if you’re not interested in smartphones or the Pre."
Keep reading...

Ms. Levin and I share many of the same views about the Pre. Long time Treo users will find that some of the nice little refinements from Palm OS 5.4.9 didn't make it into webOS 1.0.2; however, the big wins like multitasking and Synergy really make it all worth while. And yes, there have been issues with webOS 1.0.2 and the Pre including the erratic signal strength issue, weirdness with the Touchstone charging base, and Exchange and Gmail syncing issues. The good news is that Palm is aware of all of these issues and is working to resolve them. (There are some perks to be a Palm discussion forums moderator.)

You can read the full review over at The Shifted Librarian website.

Thanks to Geri for this tip.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Unlocked Palm Centro Now $199
















Palm, in an emailed newsletter, has announced that customers of Palm's online store and pick up an unlocked Centro for a cool $199. Palm sells the unlocked Centro in three colors: Ruby Red, Glacier White, and my favorite, Cobalt Blue.

The Centro is a full-featured smartphone that brings the well respected ease of use of the Palm OS to a respectable price point without having to sign a 2-year contract or extension with AT&T or T-Mobile.

To start shopping for your new Centro, visit the Palm online store.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Palm Centro Comes to Bell Mobility

Today, Palm launched the Centro in Canada on the Bell Mobility EVDO network and is available in the same midnight blue color that was previously released in Mexico and here in the United States on Verizon Wireless.
"Centro is the best example of a user-friendly smartphone that's both fun and easy to use," said Brodie Keast, senior vice president of marketing for Palm, Inc. "Centro's sleek and lightweight design makes it perfect for first-time smartphone users who want voice, text, email, web, contact and calendar capabilities all wrapped into one compact device."

"Bell Mobility is pleased to add the Palm Centro to our industry-leading lineup of smartphones, all of them with access to the fastest and largest network across North America," said Adel Bazerghi, Bell Mobility's senior vice president of Products. "Clients who choose the affordable Palm Centro will love the instant access to great mobile applications like Facebook for Palm and Google Maps."

The Bell Mobility edition Centro will sell for $49.95 (Canadian Dollars) with a 3-year service agreement. Bell customers can purchase a Centro for $399 without a service agreement.

For more details, visit the Bell Mobility website.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

TimeDrift for Palm OS Smartphones








Tam Hanna has released a new application for Palm OS devices, including the popular Palm Centro smartphone. TimeDrift keeps your devices clock accurate after a Palm PDA, Treo, or Centro is reset.

Mr. Hanna writes:

"Ever wondered why your Centro's / Treo's clock becomes inaccurate after a few resets or battery changes? Palm is to blame - but be sure that they saved a few cents by excluding certain key components.

Tamoggemon Software's TimeDrift steps in where Palm left off: our highly customized snooping algorithm makes sure that your smartphone's clock is as accurate as the clocks on other (cheaper) phones.

As we use a local algorithm rather than relying on external time servers, TimeDrift can be used abroad without any roaming chares fior data (which can be extremely expensive)."

Keep your clock accurate - get TimeDrift!

Features:

  • Fire and forget solution - no "maintenance" required
  • Highly reliable - maximal drift of 30 secs/reset
  • Small - less than 50KB of memory usage
  • Works independant of network - no network charges

Tamoggemon has a 30-day trial version available for people who like to try before they buy; which is always a good idea. The full version retails for $9.95 and is currently available for a limited time at a special promotional price of $7.95.

You can purchase TimeDrift from the TamsShop.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Documents To Go 11 for Palm OS Now Available

Yesterday, DataViz released the latest edition of Documents To Go for Palm devices running Palm OS.

With Documents To Go Premium edition 11.00, DataViz has added:
  • View tracked changes in word processing files
  • Apply and view Styles in word processing files
  • View border and wrapped text in spreadsheets
  • Ten starter Templates included for creating Word and Excel files
In addition to these new features, customers can view, create, and modify Microsoft Office documents on their Palm OS Centro, Treo, or handheld PDA. (PDA users are encouraged to check to see if their device is on the compatibility list found on the DataViz website.)

Pricing & Availability

Documents To Go Premium Edition for Palm OS retails for $49.99 and is available directly from DataViz as well as many retail and online stores including Handango.com, and the network of DataViz resellers and distributors worldwide. Upgrade pricing of $29.99 is available directly from DataViz for previous Documents To Go customers, including those who received Documents To Go as bundled software with a Palm handheld or smartphone.


My long time readers know that Documents To Go is a core requirement for any mobile device that I consider for my personal and business use. The InTact Technology seamlessly keeps the document's formatting regardless of whether the document was last created or modified on a desktop or mobile device, meaning I save not having to re-edit a file when I get back to the office.

For more information and to download a free evaluation, visit www.dataviz.com/palm2008 .

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Briefly Noted: Palm Smartphone Changes

Kris Keilhack over at PalmInfoCenter.com is reporting two Palm product chances.

Treo 750 Nearing End of Life?


The first is that it appears that Palm and AT&T are moving to end-of-life (EOL) the Palm Treo 750. Of the Treo 750, Mr. Keilhack writes:
"Aside from the evergreen Treo 700wx on Verizon, the 750 remains Palm's oldest current smartphone. Replacing the 750 with the new Treo Pro would appear to be a logical move but to date nothing more than rumors have indicated that Palm's flagship device will be appearing in subsidized form on any domestic GSM carrier.

Originally launched in September 2006 with Windows Mobile 5.2, the Treo 750 is now well over two years old. So despite the presence of the WM6 update released last fall, it is beginning to look a bit long in the tooth relative to not only competing handsets but even its newer Windows Mobile-powered Treo sister devices, the Treo 800w and Treo Pro."

Verizon Centro ROM Upgrade


Palm and Verizon have made a free ROM maintenace upgrade available to customers using Verizon-branded Centro smartphones. Writing for PalmInfoCenter, Mr. Keilhack writes:
"Palm is being rather vague on the specific improvements in this update, claiming only: "This software update is a minor tune-up that may improve device usability in certain situations."

Palm customers who are using Verizon branded Centros can learn more about and download the latest ROM update here. Sprint customers received a similar update back in July.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Palm, InStyle Vibrant Rose Centro Giveaway








Looks like Palm and InStyle are giving away the new Sprint edition Vibrant Rose Centro smartphone to 10 lucky winners.

Fill out the online entry forum over at Palm.com and then sit back and wait for the drawing on November 30, 2008.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Palm Centro Reivew













I was working with my sister's Centro today, and the following is a review of the white hot selling consumer-oriented Palm smartphone. I use a Palm Treo 755p and Treo 750 and will be comparing the Centro with those two devices.

Operating System

The Centro runs Palm's Palm OS operating system, version 5.4.9; which is the same version that Palm is using in the latest Palm OS Treo, the 755p. The Centro that I am working with has already been upgraded to the latest software maintenance release, 1.07, which can be downloaded from the Palm website as a free download.

Because the Centro runs Palm OS, you can run the thousands of existing Palm OS application that are available today. If you are upgrading from a Palm OS Tungsten or Zire PDA, your transition to the Centro should be a smooth one. If you have an older Palm OS PDA, the transition to the Centro is possible, however, I encourage anyone who has installed third-party application software to upgrade to the latest release before doing so to make sure that all of your software is compatible with Palm OS 5.

The Hardware

The Cento is smaller than previous Palm smartphones. Althought the size difference is not dramatic, the rounded edges of the Cento make it seem smaller when you are holding it in your hand. Slipping it into and out of the front pocket of a pair of jeans will be ease.

Unlike the Treo 750 and 755p, the original model Centro smartphones do not have the rubberized soft-touch paint. In my opinion, this is one of the few negatives of the Centro. I really like the soft-touch paint as it helps me keep a firm grasp on the device while I am using it. Starting with the newest Sprint Centro models, olive green and vibrant rose, Palm has returned to using the soft-touch paint.

As with previous smartphones, the Centro also includes a full Qwerty keyboard. The keys on the Centro are smaller than those on the Treo, however, the jelly style key caps make it easy for people to type on the keyboard, even if you are used to the Treo's keyboard or if you have big mits like me.

Nesseled in between the bright touch-screen and the keyboard are the standard hardware buttons Palm's customers have come to expect: Phone, Calendar, Home, Email, Call Send/Recevie (the green button) and Call End/Power (the red button). The center button, which is used to navigrate around the screen and select objects, is right in the center of the device and easily accessible with your thumb. Along the top of the device is the ringer switch for silencing your phone quickly; a feature I wished more people would us during meetings.

Rounding out the hardware features of the Centro is the digital camera on the back of the device mounted along side of the speaker. The 2.5mm headset jack, sync and power ports can be found on the bottom edge. An IR port has been placed on the right side of the body, and on the left are the volume up and down buttons and the Voice Memo button.

Each of the application hardware buttons can be reprogammed by using the Buttons control panel which is found in the Prefs application. (Press Home, and then tap or select the Prefs application in the Palm OS Application launcher.)

The Centro does come with a stylus, but I'm not excited about it. The stylus is an anemic piece of brittle plastic that feels like it will break if I hold it too hard. The bottom third of the Treo 750 and 755p is metal, but I long for the days of the Treo 650 and 700p when the stylus was mostly metal.

The Centro uses a 1150mAh battery that held up well while I was using it. (I had the device for about 90 minutes.) During that time, I was constantly checking email, downloading software updates, and browsing the web. If you plan on using all of the phone's features (phone calls, email, organizer applicaitons, and Office documents) you will likely need to charge the phone up everynight. Casual users, who don't talk on the phone alot will be able to get a few days out a single charge. Milage will vary.

The Centro also has a microSD card slot, which unlike the Treo 750 and 755p, is only accessable by removing the battery compartment door. This won't be a problem for most Centro owners unless they have multiple expansion cards that you need to swap in an out.

The Software

Centro comes with all of the software you would expect to find on a $99 phone and then some. I was really happy to see that Palm was including all of their standard Treo software on the Centro. In addition to Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and Memos, standard fare for a feature flip phone, the Centro also includes a web browser (Blazer 4.5.8), an email application (VersaMail 4.0.1) and the ability to read/write Microsoft Office files (DataViz Documents To Go 10.0 Professional). From a software perspective, there isn't anything a Centro can't do that a Treo 755p can. When you buy a Centro, you are buying a full featured smartphone compared with the other devices in the Centro's price range ($79 - $149).

Pricing, Colors

The Centro, available from Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and unlocked, typically sells for $79 - $99. However, deep discounts and mail-in rebates either from Palm or your wireless carrier, and with a new 2-year service agreement can bring the price of the Centro down much lower.

As indicated earlier, the Centro does come in a variety of colors, however, not all of the colors are available to all of the wireless carriers. The Sprint edition Centro I was able to use was ruby red. Centro is also available in cobalt blue, electric blue, obsidian black, glacial white, olive green, vibrant rose, and pink.

Conclusion

The Centro is a full featured smartphone that isn't hard on your checkbook. It is a great phone to upgrade to from a feature phone if you are looking for a better web, email, and text messaging experience. The call quality is good as was the signal strength in my neighborhood.

There are some aspects of the hardware that I would have changed, however, I don't think that they are reason enough to pass up on this phone. The inclusion of the full install of the Palm OS means, and all of Palm's bundled productivty and entertainment software, gives you the same functionality as Apple's iPhone without the added cost.

For more details on Palm's wildly popular Centro smartphone, visit Palm's Cenro website.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Palm, Sprint Update the Centro





Looks like the Palm Centro for Sprint is about to get a holiday makeover. In a press release issued earlier today, Palm unveiled the Centro refreshes that were alluded to in the September quarterly conference call.

The two new additions to the Centro family, currently only available for Sprint, feature:
  • Two new colors; olive green and vibrant rose
  • Soft-touch paint; similar to that used on the Treo 750 and 755p
  • 128MB of user accessible memory; increased from 64MB
  • Facebook for Palm OS preinstalled
  • Google Maps with My Location support
The new Centro smartphones will begin to roll into select retail outlets on October 19, and will be come available at Sprint retail locations and online at Palm.com and Sprint.com starting on November 2.

Palm is also relasing a trio (not Treo) of Cento accessories to compliment the new phones in the way of a new leather slide case, leather flip case, and car charger.

According to Palm's press release, the new smartphones will also have a new lower price when you agree to a 2-year contract, including a data plan that is $25 a month, and after a $100 mail-in rebate. When all is said and done, you can pick up a new Centro for $79.99; previously retailing at $99.99 at the Centro's initial launch.

There is a lot of like about the new Centro smartphones. I'm glad to see that Palm is actively marketing multiple colors for their smartphones. I also like that face that Palm has returned to using the soft-touch paint as it one of my favorite features of my Treo 755p. But the best part about this pair of devices is that Palm is pushed past the 64MB mark. There have been plenty of time where I wished my Treo had 128MB on board.

For more details on the pair of new Centro smartphones, check out the Palm Centro website.

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Rumor: Rose and Green Centros Coming To Sprint

The SprintUsers Sprint customer's community website is reporting that Palm and Sprint will be rolling out two new colored Centro smartphones on October 19, 2008.

The leaked Sprint Quick Reference Brief states that a rose and green colored Centro will go on sale in October. No device specs or pricing are listed in the brief, but at this point, we have to assume that the new Centro units will be exactly like the other CDMA Sprint units with new shells.

Checkout SprintUsers.com for more details and discussion...

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

2 Million Centros, Treo 800w BT Update

Palm Sells 2 Million Centro Smartphones

Earlier today, Palm issued a press release stating that the smartphone maker had sold it's 2 millionth Centro smartphone.
"Consumers are ready to do more on their mobile phone, and Centro has struck a chord around the world," said Brodie Keast, senior vice president of marketing for Palm, Inc. "Centro has everything a person needs to stay connected with everyone who is important to them -- and at a price point and size that make smartphones more attractive to a much wider audience."
The same press release continues:
"Now available from almost 20 carriers worldwide, including the three largest carriers in the United States, Centro has reached more young adults and women, as well as a broader range of household income, than any prior Palm smartphone. It offers customers an affordable, simple and fun option for staying connected and doing more with their mobile phones."
With the consumer-oriented Centro smartphone, the ease of use of the Palm OS, stylish design, and a great price point come together to create a solution that does delight the first smartphone customers.

Palm Releases a Bluetooth Voice Dialing Update

Owners of the recently released Windows Mobile Treo 800w are now able to install a small patch that will allow them to use hands-free voice dialing commands over a Bluetooth headset.

The 131kb patch can be install from your desktop Windows XP or Vista computer, over-the-air directly to your Treo 800w, or via a microSD card. The installation and download links can be found on the Sprint Treo 800w downloads page.

Since this is a software patch, and not a full flash ROM upgrade, if you hard reset your Treo 800w, you will need to reapply this patch. Furthermore, this update is only intended for Sprint Treo 800w smartphones running the TREO800w-1.03-SPNT software image.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sprint Centro 1.07 Software Update


Palm has released a software update for the Sprint edition of the Palm Centro smartphone. This update is designed only for the Sprint device.














According to the Palm website, the 1.07 software includes several enhancements:
  • Improved Gmail IMAP compatibility
  • Updated compatibility for Google Mobile Maps My Location feature
  • Improved ongoing delivery of email sent to VersaMail accounts viaExchange ActiveSync
  • Bluetooth usability enhancements and updates
  • Sprint TV performance enhancements
  • Enhanced AOL Instant Messenger performance
  • Improved performance when adding a contact using Mobile Voice Control
  • Improved email attachment handling
  • Changed default camera shutter sound to “ON.” Audible shutter “click” will be heard
  • Allows Preferred Roaming List updates over the air
Before applying this update, I recommend that you back up your device either by performing a HotSync operation with your computer or by using a backup application, like Alex Pruss' free NVBackup application.

This software update can not be undone, even by means of a hard reset. Make sure that you are ready to commit to the update before applying it.

For more information and the download link, visit the Palm website...

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend, Palm made three important moves, not that anyone noticed with iPhonemania 2.0 in full swing.

Electric Blue Centro, Temporary Price Cut

On Friday, Palm introduced a new electric blue Centro on the AT&T wireless network. If you are following along on your scorecards, AT&T now has three colors to choose from: obsidian black, glacier white, and now electric blue. To entice even more people to chose Centro, AT&T has lowered the price to $69.99 when you sign up for a qualifying two-year service agreement. That is great news for anyone looking to jump on the smartphone bandwagon!

You can purchase an AT&T Centro either online from the Palm or AT&T website, or from any AT&T retail outlet. For more details, visit the Palm Centro website.


Sprint Begins Selling the Palm Treo 800w

At long last the new Palm Treo 800w is available! It has a great looking case and offers several new built-in features previously unavailable on any previous Palm smartphone.

Just some of the new features include Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1; a 320x320 touch screen display, a 2.0MP camera, and built-in Wi-Fi and GPS radios. The new Treo retails for $599, however, when you sign up for a qualifying service plan, after instant and mail-in rebates, the 800w sells for $249.99. A handsome price for what could be a very nice phone.

On Sunday night, Palm has yet to issue a press release or update their website and online store. Look for more details come Monday morning.


Oh Palm, sigh…

Working with AT&T to bring out a new Centro, if only in color, and putting a price cut in place was the right thing to do. And launching the much-anticipated Treo 800w on Sprint was another positive step forward.

Yet, once again, Palm’s marketing department show how inept they are. Launching two new phones and introducing a price cut during the same weekend that Apple was rolling out their new iPhone 3G and iPhone 2.0 software was just poor planning.

John Paczkowski from the D: All Things Digital website, has the perfect quote from Charlie Wolf who is an analyst at Needham & Company. The quote reads:

“They took the wrong day to do it,” said Charlie Wolf, a wireless analyst at Needham & Co. “It’s going to be drowned out by the hoopla around the iPhone.”

I truly hope that Palm learns from this mistake, and doesn’t start talking publicly about their Palm OS II/Nova plans and/or devices during the same week that Apple is rolling out new products at MacWorld Expo in San Francisco come January 2009. Palm needs to get out in front of Apple, or get behind them. Just don’t go toe-to-toe with them.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Palm Launches Unlocked GSM Centro



















Palm has announced that starting today, customers can purchase an unlocked GSM Centro in the United States directly from the company's website for $299.

The unlocked GSM Centro will be available in a single color, white, and will have gray accents. This latest edition of Palm's wildly popular Centro shares the same hardware specifications as the AT&T Centro, which is also a GSM device.

To learn more about the Centro, including today's new unlocked GSM Centro, please visit the Palm Centro website.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Editorial: You Can Do More

I've posted this week's 1SRC editorial, "You Can Do More". In it, I talk about how Palm might help new customers learn more about all of the great third-party application software for the Centro smartphone.

You Can Do More

Palm is working hard to promote the Centro as a consumer oriented smartphone. Now they need to make sure that people upgrading from feature phones to the Centro know that it is easy to purchase and install third-party applications that can extend the utility of their phone.

I was talking to a friend of mine recently about the demographics of Apple iPhone and Palm Centro purchasers. We talked feature about phone users who might upgrade from a 12-key feature flip phone to a smartphone. Surely the iPhone is the current darling of the media. However, I don’t believe that brand awareness alone will drive sales. There are a few things that consumers consider before purchase a phone including: hardware costs, monthly subscription rates, features of the software, and whether or not the device is intended for work or entertainment.

It is the software and new customers that I would like to focus on. It is a long-standing fact that most people don’t install third-party software on their Palm smartphones. The last statistic that I recall reading said that about 33% of Palm owners do install third-party software. Let’s assume for a minute that the number is wrong and that 60% of customers install applications on their devices. That still leaves a whopping 40% of customers who are not realizing the full potential of their smartphones.

There are three things that I think that Palm can do to help raise consumer awareness of the vast software library available for the Centro smartphone. To raise awareness, Palm should focus on:
  • In store displays
  • Placing a card in the Centro box
  • Leveraging of the MyPalm.com portal
The object should not only be to inform new Palm customers of what their new Centro is capable of doing. Palm should be showing new customers how easy it is to find, purchase, and install these applications.

The in store display should be a no brainer. On my last trips to a Sprint/Nextel and AT&T location, there where stand up posters and ads all over the inside of the store. I don’t recall seeing any of the Palm information cards make mention the large library of software that was available for the Centro, the Treo 755p, or the Treo 750. The first step in getting the full utility out of a new phone should start at the retail location. Customers should know right form the get go that there is even more that the Centro can do than what is printed on the side of the box.

What if the customer purchases the new phone online? That’s where the in box card comes into play. The first thing a new Centro owner should see when they open the box is a card that briefly talks about doing more with the phone. Palm should pick a few category-defining applications to feature on the insert. Palm might feature games from Astraware, personal utility applications from SplashData, and multimedia applications from NormSoft and CoreCodec. (I also think that Palm should highlight ringtones, ringtone managers, and wallpapers, however, I doubt that the cellular carriers will allow them to get away with doing so.) When you think about it, Palm probably only has a few seconds to impress upon their customers that you can install additional software on the Centro. It might make more sense to put the Getting Started fold out poster on top and a software sticker on the inside of the box lid. I’ll leave it to Palm’s marketing department to iron out the details.

The last thing that Palm can do to help new customers add third-party applications to the Centro is by leveraging the currently in beta, MyPalm.com customer portal. By signing up for the free Palm service, new customers will not only get access to 24x7 support for their smart device, they should also be able to browse all of the content from the Palm Software Connection application web store.

One of the advantages of the MyPalm.com portal is the ability to download and install software on the Centro (and the Treo also) wirelessly over the air (OTA). When a customer finds an application that they would like to try or buy, they can click a button to send the software down to their device. Today, the MyPalm.com portal sends a SMS message to your phone with a download link in the body. When you tap the link, the software is downloaded to the device and the installer runs automatically. Installing software from the MyPalm.com portal onto the Centro OTA is a much easier and clearer way to install software. No one reads manuals anymore and requiring customers to try and figure out how to install software via the HotSync process is too complex for new users to have to deal with. The web portal and OTA installer is the better way to go. I really think that Palm is working on a solution like this. If you haven’t already done so, you should read A Palm Desktop Makeover.

In conclusion, I think that Palm and third-party application software developers have an opportunity to maximize customer awareness that the Centro can do more than a 12-key feature flip phone. This will, in turn, drive more software sales. In store, in box, and online advertising efforts can be used to help drive customers to the MyPalm.com portal where a wealth of new applications await them.

You can discuss this week's editorial at 1SRC.com...

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tech News World Reviews the Centro

Tech News World has a new review of the Palm Centro for Verizon Wireless. The article reads, in part:

"The Centro [is] a smartphone for people that are a little nervous about getting a regular smartphone. While most phones sold in the U.S. are feature phones, I believe that the trend is that someday the majority of phones will be what we all [call] 'smartphones.' The Centro, and the Blackberry Pearl for that matter, help move the process along for those who see the traditional smartphones as being too much," Bill Hughes, an In-Stat analyst, told TechNewsWorld.

Read the full review here...

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Palm Launches Verizon Centro, Facebook

Introducing the Palm Centro for Verizon Wireless

Today, Palm and Verizon Wireless launched the Palm Centro smartphone. Having already debuted on Sprint and AT&T, many customers have been waiting for Centro to arrive at Verizon. At last, the wait is over.

The Verizon Centro will only be available in a single color, cobalt blue. The Verizon Centro shares the same technical specifications set as the Sprint Centro models.

The Verizon Centro will sell for $99 with a new two-year customer agreement and after a $70 mail in rebate. Customers will be able to purchase Centro starting June 13 (tomorrow) from Palm.com, VerizonWireless.com, and other Verizon Wireless retail locations.

Today's full Palm Centro for Verizon Wireless press release can be found on the Palm website. For the full Centro product information, visit the Palm Centro website.

Palm Launches Facebook Client

Along side today's Centro product launch announcement; Palm released a native Facebook application for the Palm OS-based Centro, Treo 680, and 755p.

The Facebook client can be downloaded for free over the air (OTA) directly to your Palm smartphone by visiting the address http://mobile.palm.com/facebook from the Blazer web browser.

Facebook for Palm OS has the following features:
  • Send and receive Facebook messages, and respond to friend requests.
  • Capture video using your smartphone and post it to your Facebook profile.
  • View and post photos right from your smartphone — or snap and send off new ones.
  • Check out your friends’ photos and post a comment or two.
  • Receive News feeds, change your status, and get friends’ status updates on the go.
  • Browse friends' profiles, post messages to their wall, and send friend requests or search for old friends through Facebook.
  • Open your Contacts and dial your friends with just one touch.
For more information on Facebook for Palm OS, including the user guide and the desktop Palm application installer, visit the Palm Facebook website.

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Rumor: Verizon Centro on June 13th

EngadgetMobile has posted a rumor that the Verizon edition of the Palm Centro will go on sale on June 13th. That should be good news for Verizon customers who want to jump on the Centro bandwagon.











However, everyone seems to be scratching their head about the rumored price of the Verizon Centro with a two-year commitment: 269.99!

I hope that the $269 price is incorrect. Palm has stated on several occasions now that the two reasons why the Centro has been popular on Sprint and AT&T was due in part of the ease of use of the Palm OS and the low $99 price point.

Read the full EngadgetMobile article...

[Thanks to miles4000 for the tip.]

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Get a Palm Centro for $49

Palm has begun selling their wildly popular Centro smartphone for $49 when customers purchase a qualifying service agreement and with a mail in rebate. The special pricing on Palm's Centro runs until July 6, 2008.

For more details and the download link for the rebate form, visit the Palm website.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Rumor: Centro Coming To Verizon "Soon"?

While reading the Brighthand forums, I stumbled across the following post by member dwb1:
"I was in a Verizon store Saturday (5/31) upgrading my sons phone and looking at the Touch and there was a dummy version of the Centro on the counter. I was told they should have it in the store soon (1-2 wks). They said it was unusual to have the dummy and not have it in the system. It looks really nice, dark blue case. They guessed the price point to be a little lower than the Touch, maybe $100 after NE2."

Could the Centro finally be coming to Verizon? I hope so. Otherwise Verizon will see some defections to AT&T when the Apple iPhone 2.0 is released later this month.

Read the full Brighthand thread here...

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Palm Centro Coming to Telstra

SYDNEY, Australia, May 20, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- After recently announcing the sale of its one-millionth Palm(R) Centro(TM), Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq:PALM) today confirmed its popular Palm(R) Centro(TM) smartphone will be available to Telstra Pre-Paid customers in Australia beginning May 26.

"Palm Centro is the perfect choice for those thinking about stepping up to a smartphone," said Brodie Keast, senior vice president of marketing for Palm, Inc. "The combination of keyboard, touch screen and Palm's trademark ease of use makes Centro ideal for staying in touch."

Centro is Palm's smallest and lightest smartphone. Designed for individuals and traditional mobile phone users looking for a better way to manage their professional and social lives, it has a modern, stylish look that feels comfortable in the hand, and discreetly fits in a pocket or clutch. Centro helps users manage email and text messaging, keep track of their schedules, stay up-to-date on the latest news, capture and share pictures, and get online map directions -- all in one small phone. Its full keyboard also makes it easy to quickly type text messages and emails with complete thoughts and ideas.

Ross Fielding, executive director, Telstra Product Management, said, "As the first provider of this unique smartphone in Australia, Telstra is demonstrating its commitment to giving customers the best choice of Pre-Paid products and services."

Tim Copper, executive director, Telstra Consumer and Marketing, said, "Pre-Paid mobile phone users now have access to a number of features not available on standard mobile handsets with the addition of the Palm Centro to the Telstra Pre-Paid range. The Palm Centro will allow customers to stay on top of email and text messages, as well as access the Internet, manage appointments, view documents or make use of a multitude of other productivity-boosting and entertaining features."

Read the full Palm press release here
...

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Engadget: Verizon Centro Photos



















I'm not sure how they do it, but Engadget has gotten their hands on what appears to be promo photos of the much rumored, might as well just announce it now, Centro that will be appearing on Verizon Wireless soon.

Read the full Engadget article...

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Rumor: A New Palm Smartphone Before Year's End?

We know that Palm is working on a new Linux-based operating system, often referred to as "Palm OS II" or "Palm OS Nova." We also know that Palm is working on new hardware form factors for their Treo smartphone line. It has also become generally accepted that we will have to wait until this time next year before we will be able to get our hands on Palm's new products running the new operating system until 2009. Or will we?

While reading an article on AppleInsider about the impact to both Research In Motion and Palm, there is a short statement from an industry analyst that may hint at a new device from Palm, possibly a new Treo, before the end of 2008. Ya, I said before the end of 2008. The following is a quote from the AppleInsider article:

"Palm's new Centro smartphone is also characterized as a stopgap measure to tide users over until a real, Linux-based Treo replacement is available near the end of 2008. It sells for as little as $99 but isn't seen as capable of holding its own against either the iPhone or other rivals for the next few quarters. Most customers are attracted to the Centro for its price rather than its feature set, a situation the Needham researcher says is likely to change once prices drop."

This is the second time in as many months that I've seen mention of a new Palm product becoming available before the end of the year that is not one of the rumored devices I've been following.

It is important that we not get ahead of ourselves here. Before smartphones can go on sale in the US, the wireless carrier needs to certify each device before they will allow it to be connected to their network. It is also widely expected that Palm will need to deliver new smartphones to the networks up to six months in advance of it going on sale. Could this analyst simply be confused by what will happen by year's end? Did he really mean that the carriers will get new Palm devices for testing, or did he really mean that new devices running the new OS be on sale by the end of 2008? It is hard to tell, but it would sure be some welcomed news for the Palm OS user community if a new device and operating system became available in time for the holidays. And I'm sure Palm wouldn't mind a little sales boost in December either.

Fact or fiction? I'll leave that for you to decide.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Palm Rumor Round Up

The first quarter of 2008 has come and gone, so I figured it is time that I review the current status of all of the Palm rumors floating around on the Internet.

Treo 800w

I expect this device to show up in July 2008 on the Sprint network if the leaked slide on WMEXperts.com is real. The Treo 800w will replace the Treo 700wx in the carrier's network. The latest rumors seem to indicate that this new Windows Mobile Treo will ship with Windows Mobile 6.1 and not 6.0 as indicated on the slide. (I should also point out that Sprint never carried the 700w, but rather the 700wx. The slide may not 100% accurate.)

I'm looking forward to seeing this Treo ship with EVDO Rev A, a built in Wi-Fi radio, and an operating system accessable GPS receiver that can work with third-party GPS applications from Garmin and TomTom.

Adding to the validity of this information, some websites that posted the slide are being asked to remove the slide and comments in a recent Palm conference call appear to be in alignment with the rumors. I'll put this rumor at 90% likely to be true.

Verizon Centro

Rumors around the Verzion Centro are still a little bit spotty on the actual timing with rumored launch dates confined to the second quarter of 2008. Over the weekend, a leaked rebate form showed up on TreoCentral.com that clearly shows the Centro as being offered with a $70 mail-in rebate. Also clearly visible on the rebate form are the dates 3/30/08 - 6/15/08, the dates the rebate offer runs from and to.

As far as I am aware, this is the best evidence to date that the Palm Centro is coming to Verizon. EngadgetMobile recently posted that the device was coming to Verizon, but had the release dates later in the year (May-June).

The Centro is the best thing going for the Palm OS platform this year, so I'm expecting that Palm will continue to rollout the Centro is as many markets on as many carriers as they can. With Palm OS II/Nova still months away, the Centro is the only new device Palm will ship all year running the Palm OS 5.4 (Garnet) platform. I expect the Centro to be the last device from Palm to run Palm OS 5.x; next stop will be Palm OS II/Nova. My best guess will be a late April launch of the Centro on Verizon. I'm not sure what colors the Verzion Centro will be available in, but my guess is it will be the midnight blue version recently rolled out in Mexico.

I'm putting the validity for a Verizon Centro at 100%.

"Drucker"
Back in January, a leaked Vodafone slide showed a device called "Drucker" from Palm arriving in July 2008. I have not read any new information on this rumored device. After reviewing the device stats listed on a slided posted on Gizmodo, the Drucker looks to be the GSM version of the Treo 800w due out on Sprint here in the United States as it is expected to replace the Treo 750 in the Vodaphone smartphone line up. This of course, opens the door to a launch later in the year on AT&T and/or an unlocked version becoming available directly from Palm's online store.

At this point, I am going out on limb and saying that this rumor is probably 80% true. The lack of any new details on Drucker could be a sign that things have changed since January.

"Wanda"
January also brought us news of another European device, "Wanda". Based on the information posted in another leaked Vodafone slide over on Engadget, Wanda appears to be a GSM Windows Mobile version of the EVDO Palm OS Centro. (Palm did admit in a recent conference call that the Treo 500v wasn't selling as well as they had initially hoped.)

Of the specs on the slide, this device will also be a Windows Mobile 6.1 device (just like the Treo 800w and Drucker are rumored to be) and will include a 2.0MP camera.

Wanda is suppose to be launched in September of this year, which is still quite a bit away at this point. While I'm sure that Palm will be looking to capture more marketshare in Europe, the Treo 500v may not be the vehicle Palm wanted it to be. Wanda may be just what the doctor ordered. I'll put this rumor at 60% of being accurate.

"What Else?"
The big question on the minds of fans of the Palm OS is whether or not Palm will be able to make good on their promise to release a successor to the Palm OS 5 platform. The current version of Palm OS 5 is functional, however, it is clearly holding Palm back from delivering the innovative products that they were known for in the late 1990s. I believe, as do the managers at Palm, it is essential to complete Palm OS II/Nova no later than the end of 2008.

To that end, one has to wonder if Palm is under promising and surprise us by over delivering. Many people still remember the disaster the pre-announcment of the m500-series devices had on sales of the Palm Vx and Palm's bottom line. (We won't talk about the gold suit.) More recently, Palm took an embarrassing hit after having pre-announced the Palm Foleo and then later failing to deliver the product.

If Palm has any chance of delivering either a Centro or Treo smartphone, or even a refreshed Palm TX handheld for that matter, before the start of calendar year 2009, I'd expect that those details are on a "need to know" basis only. So what how about it? Do you think that Palm can pull a rabbit out of their hat in December to the wild cheers of the Palm OS user community? I expect any delivery of any device from Palm running Palm OS II/Nova before March of 2009 a long shot at best, I'll say that there is, at best, a 25% chance of this happening.

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Monday, March 31, 2008

Palm Sells One-Millionth Centro


Palm announced today that they have shipped their one-millionth Centro consumer-oriented smartphone.

"SUNNYVALE, Calif., Mar 31, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq:PALM) today announced that it has sold its one-millionth Palm(R) Centro(TM) smartphone, demonstrating the $99 product's mass appeal to customers ready to get all the power of a smartphone at the price of a traditional mobile phone.(1) Palm is now shipping Centro in 10 countries worldwide, including Hong Kong, Singapore, India, the UK, Germany, Spain, Ireland, France and Italy, and its already-rapid momentum is set to grow as Palm debuts the product in additional countries around the globe.

"The Palm Centro is flying off the shelves because users who want to step up to a smartphone see it as the perfect first choice," said Brodie Keast, senior vice president of marketing for Palm, Inc. "It has everything a person needs to stay organized and connected with everyone who is important to them. We're very excited about the Centro's near-instant popularity in the U.S. and think it's going to be a huge hit as it continues to make its way across the globe."

"Smartphones are certainly not new to business professionals; however, now more than ever we are seeing consumers migrate toward these types of devices as form factors have become more appealing and price points are now competing with traditional mobile phones," said Ryan Reith, senior research analyst with IDC. "Palm's Centro plays right into the hands of the consumer looking for a more robust experience on their mobile phone. We definitely expect to see this trend continue worldwide.""

By comparison, Palm sold their one-millionth Treo smartphone back in April of 2005, (the Treo 600, under the Handspring brand, began shipping in 2003) according to CNN Money.com.

Read the complete Palm press release...

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rumor: Treo 800w and Verizon Centro (Updated)

After this week's 1SRC editorial, I really wasn't expecting to hear about two new Palm rumors. Never the less, two new rumors have appeared.

Treo 800w Coming to Sprint

A member of the SprintUser's website forums has posted what appears to be a leaked slide from a Sprint product roadmap cor PDA Device Launches. The last device on the slide shows that Palm's Treo 800w will be launching this July.

The image of the device that appears on the slide is very much like the one that was seen in January during CES. Adding further validation to a new Windows Mobile device launching this summer are recent comments from Palm CEO Ed Colligan during the Q3FY08 conference call held earlier this month.

Read more at WMExperts...

Centro Coming to Verizon

A member of the Palm Community Help Forums (Note: Alan is a moderator on that discussion forum) has posted the following information in regards to the as yet announced Verizon Centro:
"hi i work for a verizon agent and we just got the new rebate form for 03/30/08 to 06/15/08 and there is a $50 rebate on the new Verizon Centro so we will be seeing it in the next 3 months."
While far from solid evidence, it is widely expected that Verizon will carry the Centro along with Sprint, and AT&T. Previously on the Palm Self-Paced Learning site, a midnight blue Centro was displayed, and after the picture started making the rounds on the Internet, Palm's site was quickly changed. I wonder if the midnight blue Centro is coming to Verizon. If the rebate data is correct, I'd start looking for the Verizon Centro to start showing up anytime between now and Tuesday. If the rumor is true.

Update:

Engadget has run an article on Verizon indicating that they have received word about upcoming device launches.
"Centro fans will be happy to hear that the diminutive Garnet phone will finally hit Verizon following Sprint and AT&T launches in the tail end of May or the beginning of June, followed shortly by the Nokia 6205, which apparently isn't either the 2505 or 7205 unless one of those flips have been renumbered."
If Engadget's information is correct, Verizon customers are still in for a bit of a wait for the Centro to arrive on their wireless network.

Read the entire Engadget article...

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Palm Introduces the AT&T Centro


Palm has officially taken the wraps off of the rumored white AT&T Palm Centro consumer-oriented smartphone.

With the exception of the new GSM cellular radio and AT&T specific software, such as Push To Talk, the new GSM AT&T Centro is expected to be very similar in product specifications as the previously release Centro smartphones from rival wireless carrier Sprint and the recently announced unlocked GSM Centro that will begin selling across Europe shortly.
"Centro offers customers more choices to stay in touch with friends, family and co-workers by using voice, text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail or the Web. Featuring a color touch-screen and full QWERTY keyboard, Centro is the first Palm OS® product to launch with AT&T services, such as XM Radio Mobile, Push to Talk and MusicID."

"The demand for crossover devices is skyrocketing, and the Centro hits a sweet spot for many customers looking for a QWERTY device with a solid suite of messaging and multimedia features," said Michael Woodward, vice president, Business Mobility Products for AT&T's wireless unit. "At a great price that can be coupled with a variety of AT&T's messaging and data options, we are thrilled to offer Centro to our 70.1 million customers."

"Centro offers a simple way for customers to stay connected to the people who are important to them while better managing their increasingly hectic lifestyles, all at the price of a traditional mobile phone," said Brodie Keast, senior vice president of Marketing for Palm, Inc."

The AT&T Centro will sell for $99 with a new two-year service agreement. It is expected to sell for $399 without a service agreement. According to today's press release, there will be an obsidian black edition of the AT&T Centro which is expected to begin shipping in about four weeks. The glacial white Centro goes on sale today at AT&T retail outlets and online at www.att.com and the Palm online store. AT&T's unlimited data plan has been priced at $30 a month in addition to their standard voice and messaging plans.

Read the full Palm press release...

Update:

The Palm Centro website has been updated to include the AT&T Centro product specifications along side the Sprint Centro specifications.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

Rumor: Centro Coming to AT&T, Verizon Wireless

A CNNMoney.com article posted earlier today is siting a JP Morgan analyst as saying the consumer-oriented Palm Centro smartphone is coming to AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
"Among the company's new products, Coster said, will be a version of the Centro with phone service from AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. An exclusive deal with Sprint Nextel Corp. will expire soon, he wrote.

"In doing this 180-degree turn on the stock, we are putting a lot of faith in the technology and design competence of the new talent introduced to Palm by Elevation Partners," he said."

It has been rumored for some time now that the Centro, possibly in white, would be coming to AT&T early in 2008. The report from JP Morgan analyst Coster is the first I've seen that specifically mentions Verizon. We all knew that Centro would eventually make it to Verizon seeing as how Sprint and Verizon are both CDMA/EVDO based networks.

I wonder if we will see the AT&T Centro launched in February and a Verizon Wireless Centro in March or April. There are no rumors relating to which color(s) Verizon might order.

Sprint Nextel was the first US carrier to launch the Palm Centro. The Centro is selling for $99 or less and is currently available in three colors: black, red, and pink.

Read the full CNNMoney article...

[Thanks to the tipster who sent this in.]

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

VersaMail Update for Palm Centro

According to the Palm company blog, a new VersaMail client update has been made available for Centro customers.

The latest update, VersaMail 4.0.7, adds enhancements to VersaMail's support for IMAP compatibility with Google's Gmail service. Palm has also rolled in an update for customers who use automatic data synchronization with Microsoft's Direct Push technology when using the Exchange ActiveSync feature in VersaMail.

VersaMail can be downloaded directly to a Centro over the air (OTA) by tapping the following URL:

http://www.palm.com/versamail407

This update is intended only for the Palm Centro, and will not work on other Palm OS devices, including, the Treo 755p, 700p, or 680.

You can read the upgrade directions on the Palm website.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Pink Centro Arrives on Sprint










The pink Palm Centro when public today on the Palm website. As expected, the pink Centro from Sprint has the same product specifications as the previously released black and red Centro smartphones released last year.

I'm glad to see Palm releasing a pink smartphone. Over the last year, I have seen more women toting around smartphones and this phone should help keep sales of the Palm Centro at a brisk pace.

You can order the new pink Palm Centro directly from the Palm online store, the Sprint online store, or from a local Palm or Sprint store.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Rumor: Photos of the Pink Centro Appear

SprintUsers.com forum member TheRobin has posted what appears to be a promotional photo of the rumored pink Palm Centro that is expected to arrive on Sprint sometime in January or February 2008.

The information on the release date has been all over the map with rumored launch dates of January 6, January 13, and February 14 (Valentine's Day).

Palm and Sprint are going to sell a lot of these things.


[Thanks to the anonymous tipster who sent this in.]

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Rumor: AT&T Centro Announcement at CES?

TreoCentral.com member Nomad2000 has posted some pictures of the GSM AT&T Centro. (The pictures, reportedly, came from Hi-PDA.com.)

Palm has recently posted that they will be attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) being held in Las Vegas this January. The Sprint exclusive on the Centro is coming to and end by mid-January.

Is this a cleverly disguised hoax or are Palm and AT&T getting ready to launch another Centro early in 2008?

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Rumor: Pink Centro Coming in January

An anonymous reader has posted here on Foleo Fanatics that the pink Centro will be coming to Sprint on January 13, 2008. The anonymous poster writes:

"I work for Sprint and I have the exact date!!
Its coming out!!

1/13/2008!!

Thanks!!"

Now with all rumors, you need to take them with a grain of salt. It is possible that this rumor may not be true. However a Pink Centro leading up to Valentine's Day is just the sort gimmick that gets people to buy phones. I also expect Sprint's exclusive on the Centro to end around that date. As I have said on my 1SRC.com podcast, I believe that there needs to be a pink smartphone from Palm. So is this true? I guess we won't know until the month before Valentine's Day.

Related Articles:

Rumor: Pink Centro Coming to Sprint...

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rumor: Pink Centro Coming to Sprint

A TreoCentral forum member, "ashblades," is claiming to be a Sprint employee and states that Palm and Sprint will be launching a pink Centro on February 8 just in time for Valentines Day. You can read the entire TreoCentral thread here.

I've been wondering aloud with some of the other 1SRC'ers about why Palm isn't offering their smartphones in more rainbow flavors. With Palm's new found emphasis on the consumer market using the Centro as the vehicle to reach more feature phone users, it would seem that more color choices is a logical thing to offer.

Palm has offered the Treo 680 in several colors prior to the Cingular acquisition by AT&T. The copper Treo seemed to be the first color to sell out with customers clamoring to snatch up second-hand units on eBay once the primary channel dried up. Palm has seemed to have an on again-off again attitude toward colored devices. In the mid-90's Palm released a teal colored Palm Vx and a clear cased Palm IIIxe. Handspring's (now a part of Palm) Visor Deluxe line also came in a rainbow assortment of colors. (I did get an orange Visor). And there have been a few other limited and special edition Palm or Handspring devices since then.

While it is impossible to know if the poster at TreoCentral is credible at this time there is a prescient for a pink Centro late this coming winter.

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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ruby Centro Goes on Sale

The ruby red Centro, Palm's consumer oriented smartphone, goes on sale starting this Sunday. Until now, it was only available in black.

Preliminary reports posted to the Internet suggest that the Centro has been selling well in the few weeks it has been available. We won't have official Centro sales numbers for a while yet. The ruby Centro will sell for the same price as the black one; $99.99 with a new 2-year service agreement and a $100 mail in rebate. You can purchase a Centro at Sprint and Palm retail stores or on the web from Palm's online store.

Read more at Brighthand...

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Preliminary Reports, Centro Selling Well

Even though we are still months away from Palm's next quarterly earnings statement, early indicators are that sell through of Palm's latest Centro smartphone is good.

James Faucette, an analyst for Pacific Crest, recently wrote, “Our retail sell-through checks for the first weeks of availability indicate solid sell-through. We also believe that Centro cannibalization of the higher-ASP Treo is around 30%, versus our previous expectation of 50%.”

Unofficial reports are also coming in from conversations with retail sales associates from Sprint stores. To summarize one poster on the Yahoo! Finance discussion board Centro sell through is higher than expected and that Centro is popular with high school and college students.

Both of these reports bode well for Palm. I'll be looking forward to seeing official sell through numbers at the end of the current quarter.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Centro: For the Rest of Us



I have posted week's 1SRC editorial has been posted and talks about some of the advantages that the new Palm Centro has over Apple's much talked about iPhone.

"The Centro can’t stand up to the Apple iPhone. And it doesn’t have to.

Focus on the Differentiation

The iPhone and the Centro are both being marketed to people who use regular old cell phones. In the United States alone there are millions of people up for grabs. Centro is intended for people who wouldn’t otherwise consider purchasing a $500+ phone from Palm, Apple, or High Tech Computing (HTC).

The Centro offers a better user experience when trying to type out a text message or short email to your friends. There is also a large selection of software to choose from. (Apple is planning on releasing the tools to create native iPhone/iPod Touch applications early next year.) Regardless of what you want to do or what interests you, there is likely an application for you that will run on the Centro. When you compare the ease of use of the Centro to feature flip phones you see that it is possible to obtain a better mobile experience for a comparable price for all but the cheapest cell phones given away free with new service agreements.

You also can’t over look the ease of use of the Palm OS platform. Despite its age, Palm OS 5 is still a very capable operating system. At the heart of the Palm platform are the core 4 personal information management (PIM) applications: Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and Memos. These applications are straightforward and easy to use. It is this ease of use and straight forward approach to PIM tools that has kept me coming back Palm every time I thing about upgrading my phone.

Messaging Matters

If you accept that the Centro is intended for 20 and 30-somethings, then you also must agree that it offers a better messaging experience over feature phones. Cento comes bundled with an IM, test messaging, and, email applications. Using Centro’s built-in keyboard improves up on the process of typing out messages to friends and coworkers.

The Centro is also cost competitive with the iPhone. After carrier discounts and mail in rebates the Centro can be purchased for the low price of $99. The Centro ends up being $300 less expensive than the iPhone and has almost all of the same features. Centro is also cheaper than the consumer oriented BlackBerry Pearl and the T-Mobile Sidekick. Furthermore, Sprint’s voice and data plans are slightly cheaper than AT&T’s. If you are on a budget, the Centro just makes sense.

In Conclusion

The new Palm Centro is an effort by Palm to reach out to customers who would otherwise not consider buying a smartphone. When talking about sales figures it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing sort of thing. There are more than enough cell phone users for both Apple and Palm to market to. In recent years Palm has lost their leadership position in the smartphone market. The Centro is a good start in working back to that coveted spot. If Palm is serious about getting back on top of the smartphone heap, than future phones will need to be more innovative, look good, work well, and have the marketing muscle behind it to really generate some buzz in the industry. If you are in the market for a new phone and want to have the empowering features of a smartphone without the bloated price tag, the Centro is the device for you."
Via 1SRC.com...

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

ComputerWorld Reviews the Centro

ComputerWorld has published a review of Palm's new Centro smartphone.
"Go back five years when Palm handhelds ruled the mobile device market, before smart phones began their ascendancy. It's easy to imagine that Palm's new Centro -- the company's first smart phone not named Treo -- is the device Palm envisioned as the future of handhelds.

That's not damning by faint praise, either. Centro is far smaller than those old handhelds. For that matter, it's significantly sleeker than Palm's Treo, yet it provides most of the Treo's capabilities and, at $99 (with a two-year contract from Sprint plus rebates) is quite inexpensive."
Keep reading...

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Palm Centro Goes On Sale Today













Palm's latest smartphone, the Centro, goes on sale starting today.

Centro is a new consumer oriented smartphone that packs all the power of Palm's Treo 755p smartphone in a smaller footprint. Centro runs the Palm OS (version 5.4.9), has 64MB of user storage space for applications and data, includes a 2.2" color touchscreen, and a microSD card slot supporting up to a 4GB expansion card. The Centro also features a 1150mAh replaceable lithium-ion battery.

Centro goes on sale for $99 when purchased with a new two-year service agreement and the $25 Sprint Power Vision pack and after a $50 mail in rebate. If you extend you existing service agreement with Sprint, you can take home the Centro for $199. Or you can buy the Centro without a service agreement or extending your contract for $399.

The Centro is a Sprint exclusive for the next 90-days. Once the Sprint exclusive is over expect the Centro to start appearing on other wireless carrier's networks.

The Palm Centro can be purchased at Sprint or Palm retail outlets or online at www.palm.com/store.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Palm Introduces the Centro


Palm has officially introduced the Centro smartphone. The following has been taken from the Palm press release mailed out earlier today.
"Designed for individuals and traditional mobile phone users looking for a better way to manage their professional and social lives, Palm, Inc. and Sprint today introduced the Palm(R) Centro(TM) smart device, at $99.99. With voice, text, IM, email, web, contact and calendar capabilities, a full-color touch screen and full keyboard, Centro brings Palm simplicity and organization to customers who want to stay connected with co-workers, friends and family. Centro will be exclusive through Sprint in the United States for 90 days and is available in onyx black or ruby red."

"With a fun, new compact design, Centro is the smallest and lightest Palm phone to date. Centro has a modern, stylish look that feels comfortable in the hand, pocket or evening purse."

"As the newest member of the Palm family, Centro is expected to attract new users to the smartphone category. According to IDC, the smartphone market is shifting to the mass market; U.S. smartphone shipments will grow from 13.8 million in 2007 to 74.4 million in 2011."















Analysis

The Centro is the new consumer oriented smartphone that Palm has been hinting about for a while now and shares some of the design elements of the recently announced Treo 500v for European wireless carrier Vodafone. To purchase the Centro smartphone for the advertised $99.99 you will need to commit to a new 2-year service agreement with Sprint. At this time, the retail pricing for the Centro without a service agreement for Sprint customers who are in between contract renewal periods is still unknown, however rumors circulating on the Internet in recent weeks pins the price of the Centro around $400.

The Centro is a standard Palm OS 5 based smartphone runing similar software as the Treo 680 and 755p. Since the Centro is a consumer oriented device, the popular mp3 player software Pocket Tunes has been upgraded to Pocket Tunes Deluxe. I also noticed that the Centro ships with VersaMail 4.0. At this time, it is not clear what has changed between this new version of VersaMail and version 3.5.x which has been shipping on the Treo 680, 700p, and 755p. (I also don't know if there will be be an upgrade made available for existing Treo customers.)

The Centro is slightly smaller and lighter than the Treo 755p. Centro's published dimensions are 4.22" (L) x 2.11" (W) x 0.73" (D) where as the 755p is 4.4" (L) x 2.3" (W) x 0.84 (D). The Centro weighs in at 4.2 ounces while the 755p comes it at 5.64 ounces.

Centro will be a Sprint exclusive for 90-days and is expected to go on sale in mid-October. It is possible that the Centro and the Treo 500v could go on sale on in the US and the UK on the same day. Palm will be shipping the Sprint edition Centro in two colors, onyx (black) and ruby (red). Not surprising, there has been no mention during today's announcement as to when a Verizon wireless Centro, or Treo 755p for that matter, will become available.

Palm and Sprint are expected to start taking Centro pre-orders from their respective websites starting tomorrow.

Read the full Palm press release...
Palm Centro website...

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GadgetsOnTheGo has Palm Centro Pictures


Confirming what we've already suspected, GadgetsOnTheGo editor Jimmie Geddes has posted some pictures of the new Palm Centro taken from the Sprint website.

Palm and Sprint are expected to formally announce the Centro later today.

Keep reading at Gadgets On The Go...

Visit the Sprint MoreYous site...

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Palm and Sprint Press Conference

Palm has sent out a notice of a joint press conference tomorrow, September 27, at the DigitalLife Conference taking place this week at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.

While the press release mostly contains information about the when and how to attend the event via webcast, today's press release gives as a teaser with the line:

"The news will include a new Palm(R) smartphone for Sprint."

Tomorrow's event will likely be the formal announcement of the Palm Centro, the company's first non-Treo smartphone.

Read the full press release...

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Rumor: Is this the Treo 500?

Earlier today Palm community websites went nuts with a leaked picture of what is probably the new device coming to Europe this Wednesday, the Treo 500.















The device specifications are still a bit sketchy, but if the rumors are true, this might be the first Palm device to run Windows Mobile Standard, which does not include touchscreen support. If the rumors continue to be true, there are likely to be two versions of this phone: a Windows Mobile/GSM device, and a Palm OS/EVDO device. It is not clear if there would be a Palm OS/GMS device here in the United States running on the AT&T network.

Regardless of what what is true about these rumors or not, the world will find out what is coming to Europe on September 12th.


[Thanks to Holvoetn for the tip.]

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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Rumor: New Centro Details - Updated

(Updated 9/9/07 @ 4:15pm)

Palm InfoCenter has some new rumored details about the upcoming device rumored to be launching on October 14th on the Sprint network.

Kris Keilhack writes:

"Based on the preliminary specifications, strong software bundle, and rumored $99 price point, the Centro appears to be a far better value proposition than its pricier 755p sister device in the Sprint lineup. Even if the Centro lacks Documents To Go, PTunes Deluxe is a superb choice to be bundled the device, especially if Palm is targeting the media-savvy youth market with this release. Previously leaked photos have confirmed that the Centro uses the updated Phone app first seen on the Treo 680 and not included on the Treo 755p. Earlier reports also indicated that the Centro will have EVDO Rev. A but this has not yet been confirmed at this time."


If this is true, I'm glad to see Palm including a full version of Pocket Tunes (pTunes) Deluxe with this new device. It is something that I have been advocating for a while now. All indications are that the Centro is intended to be a consumer device and not one targeted for business customers. In this context, I support the move to remove Documents To Go from the preinstalled applications list. I do wonder if the Documents To Go Viewer application will be loaded on the device. The Documents To Go Viewer application was a special read-only viewer that appeared on the Treo 600 to allow customers to view Word and Excel attachments from inside VersaMail.

Read the full PIC article...

Update:

The website PhoneNews.com appears to be corroborating the information from the Palm InfoCenter article.

More details via PhoneNews.com
...

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Inquirer Talks about Foleo

The Inquirer has a new article posted that talks about the Centro and the "not-Centro-smartphone" coming to Europe next week, and the fate of the Foleo Mobile Companion.

The Inquirer writes:

"The new product is not, contrary to much chatter on the web, the Centro, of which little is known other than what can be gleaned from the usual murky shots snapped by PDA-obsessed sites. Instead it’s a Treo that will be launched with partners Vodafone and Microsoft at a London press conference next Wednesday.

Unless the new Treo is something very special, however, it won’t stop the chatter on Palm-stalking blogs and websites where some of the big questions being asked include:

Will there be availability of product on auction and other sites?

Did the mewling of fanbois kill a good product?

and,

Could the Foleo rise phoenix-like from the ashes?"

Oh ya and Foleo Fanatics was mentioned in the article too.

Read New Treo loom as Foleo lives on in blogosphere...

[Thanks to the tipster who sent this in.]

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Saturday, September 1, 2007

New Palm Smartphone Hits Europe on Sept 12th


Palm's European website is now featuring a teaser page to win 5 of Palm's latest smartphones. This could very likely be the device that Palm is calling the Centro. Noticeably absent from the name, at this point anyway, is the name "Treo."




Get the details here...




[Thanks to the tipster who emailed me the link.]

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Friday, August 17, 2007

The "Gandolf" is the Palm Centro

GadgetsOnTheGo.net's Jimmie Geddes has posted some official information about Palm's latest smartphone, previously rumored to be "Gandolf".

The Palm Centro from Sprint

  • Smallest Palm OS smartphone to date
  • Targeting a younger demographic, new to the smartphone space
  • Runs on EVDO network
  • New design features a full keyboard and touch screen

The Centro looks like it will be Palm's low-cost entry level device the company's executives talked about back in April at the Palm Analyst day.

Update:
For more details on the Centro, including a first-hand account hands on with a pre-release version of the device, check out Sascha Segan's article over on Gearlog.com.
-amg

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