Handspring cuts the Treo 90 and Treo 180 PDAs

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During their analyst call, Handspring officially announced plans to cut the Treo 90 and Treo 180 devices from their line. The Treo 90 is no longer being sold on their site and prices have been cut $100 by retailers.

The plan is to phase out both units over the course of this quarter. Expect to see even more massive price cuts as retailers are being pushed by Handspring to get the remaining stock out the door. They cited too much competition at the price point the Treo 90 is shooting for. Not entirely shocking as Sony dominates that market and will continue to do so for a long time. The Treo 180 just didn’t meet sales expectations, as more buyers were stepping up to the color models.

Handspring also went on to say that while sales of the Treo 270 and Treo 300 have not been as good as expected, they have made solid progress, especially in the enterprise market. It makes sense for Handspring to focus all remaining energy that way, as Sony cares little about the corporate user. That being said, the latest Gartner report on PDAs indicates only 30% of all PDAs are purchased by enterprise users. This may move up though, if the market shows any sign of coming back.

The end result is more attention to the communicator series with new units rolling out soon, although no word on specs or timetables. They are also close to announcing two new carriers for the Treo’s. The new carriers may carry existing Treo models but will definitely carry the next generation devices.

Overall, I think it’s a good move. They really need to cut costs and fighting Sony for the middle ground is a fight Handspring cannot win. They’re much better off going for the Smartphone user, leveraging their brand and longevity to worm into corporations. A lot of talk has been made about an acquisition at some point, but I don’t see it right now. Perhaps the best match is with one of their largest competitors, RIM, but who knows. There has been talk lately about Handspring working with RIM to make a Blackberry device.

If you are so inclined, check out the conference call.

The good parts are as follows:

  • 4:35 – Statement regarding the Treo90/180 being discontinued
  • 23:45 – Beginning of the Q&A session
  • 38:09 – Confirms the earlier statment regarding the timing of the discontinuation

    Brian


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