palmOne has begun taking pre-orders for the Treo 600 smart phone with Cingular wireless service. These are expected to begin shipping November 17.
It was announced in late September that Cingular was one of four carriers who would begin offering this device later in the year, but this is the first time a definite date has been available for Cingular.
Sprint PCS, which is the only company offering the CDMA version of this smart phone, has had it available for several weeks. The other three companies will be offering the GSM/GPRS version.
There had been rumors circulating that Handspring had run into problems with the GSM/GPRS version of this device that would delay its release at least until the beginning of December. While these may have been exaggerated, the company is clearly having problems meeting demand. According to one of its sites, though palmOne expects to begin processing orders on November 17 it is anticipating extremely high demand which could result in additional delays once orders begin to ship.
palmOne is taking preorders on its Handspring web site, where the Treo 600 with Cingular service costs $499 to those starting a new service plan, otherwise this smart phone is $699. However, those who already have an earlier cellular-wireless Treo can get this latest model for $399.
Handspring expects T-Mobile and AT&T Wireless to begin offering the Treo 600 in the near future.
The Treo 600 is a major upgrade and redesign of Handspring's smart phone line. It offers the latest version of the Palm OS and more memory in a smaller casing. It also includes a camera and an SD slot.
The Treo 600 series runs Palm OS 5.2.1 on a 144 MHz Texas Instruments OMAP processor. It has 32 MB of RAM, of which 22 MB to 25 MB will be available to the user, depending on the set-up chosen by the wireless providers that offering it.
Like previous Treo models, the Treo 600 series includes an integrated mini keyboard, though the new one is even smaller. It has a 160-by-160 pixel color screen. The new models are significantly smaller than their predecessors at 4.41 by 2.36 by .87 inches. The casing design and coloration will vary between service providers.
The Treo 600 was designed by Handspring, but Handspring recently merged with Palm Inc. to become palmOne.
Thanks to Dennis G. Esler for the tip.
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