The price of palmOne stock has climbed considerably this year, mostly because of the success of its Treo 600. However, news that one of its competitors may be putting together a smartphone with many of the same features as the Treo 600 was enough to spook investors.
Earlier this week, A.G. Edwards published a research note that said, "Though we have no confirmation from sources, we believe that Nokia is readying a 'Treo-like' smartphone that pairs a keyboard with its Series 60 user interface and a higher resolution screen." The note referred to this device as a "Treo-killer."
A.G. Edwards does not know when this product will be available.
Nokia is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla of the smartphone market, so it isn't surprising that this news might make some investors nervous. palmOne stock closed down 11 percent yesterday, but it is up slightly today.
However, its quite possible that the investors who are selling palmOne stock are unaware of this company's plans for a next-generation Treo. While A.G. Edwards is correct that a Series 60 device will have a higher resolution screen than the Treo 600, the Treo 650 is expected to have four times the resolution of its predecessor.
The upcoming model is also rumored to include Bluetooth short-range wireless networking, another important feature missing from the Treo 600.
Nokia dominates smartphone sales in Europe, where palmOne has not been able to make much headway. However, the situation is reversed in the U.S., where palmOne's Treo 600 has been a run-away success.
Nokia may be making a model that mimics the Treo 600 in an attempt to finally break into the U.S. smartphone market. At the same time, palmOne may be adding Bluetooth to the Treo 650 in hopes of increasing sales in Europe.
Thanks to Palm Infocenter for the tip.
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