Hawkins Opens the Door To Smaller, Keyboard-less Treos

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In the wake of the announcement of its latest product, one of Palm, Inc.’s co-founders has hinted that a Treo smartphone without a built-in keyboard might be in the cards.

Last week, Palm announced the Foleo Mobile Companion, a laptop-shaped device designed to act in conjunction with a smartphone. This will offer a larger screen and keyboard than can be included in any Treo.

Since that announcement, Palm’s Jeff Hawkins told CNET that because the Foleo gives smartphone users the option of full-sized keyboard, then it might no longer be necessary for the Treo to have its own smaller one.

I don’t want to reveal too much. But I can now think through the problem differently. I can think through tradeoffs. Well, if I have something with a bigger screen and a keyboard — whether it looks like this (Foleo) or something else — where I can view and manipulate data, does it change how I design this guy (pointing to Treo)? Yes.

Hawkins also suggested that Treo with larger screens or smaller form factors might also be possible.

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