PDA News – New email patent lawsuit, $99 Treo, Treo 700w on Sprint?

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Visto sues Goodlink for patent infringement

No, you haven’t wandered into the Twilight Zone–or if you have, so have all of us. While Research In Motion and NTP battle it out over who is going to control patents for key “push” email technologies, two other push email providers are gearing up to do battle for the right to get stomped by the winner of the RIM/NTP contest. Visto Corporation has filed suit against Good Technology, claiming that the company’s technologies infringe on Visto’s patents.

If this sounds familiar, it’s not just you. Last November, Visto sued Microsoft for allegedly violating Visto’s email patents in Microsoft’s new Exchange 2003 push system.

It would appear that Visto is trying to position themselves in order to capitalize on any possible shutdown of the Blackberry service. Their reasoning seems to be that companies suddenly thrown off of the Blackberry due to legal difficulties won’t want to suffer a possible repeat of the incident, so they’ll choose whatever sevice doesn’t have any lawsuits against it. It seems like a slightly desperate and oddball business strategy, but Visto obviously thinks it will work for them.


Treo 700w for $99

Buy.com is causing a bit of an uproar by offering the brand-new Treo 700w for $299–$100 under the suggested retail price–plus another $200 in rebates that bring the total cost of the device down to a whopping $99.

The catch? Well, the rebates are rather strict in the language, and have some language which implies that you could actually be charged more–a lot more–if you don’t follow the directions precisely. Not to mention the famous habit of rebate centers “losing” submitted documents. From the Buy.com site:

To qualify and redeem the rebate, and to avoid an equipment discount charge back of $250, complete and sign the rebate form, provide copies of your sales receipt, Guide to Wireless service, a copy of the UPC from the product packaging, and a copy of a wireless bill for this account dated between 150 days and 210 days after activation showing the previous balance paid in full. Claim must be postmarked no earlier than 180 days after activation and no later than 210 days after activation. Void where prohibited. Your rebate check will be mailed within 10-12 weeks from receipt of your rebate submission as described above.



Report: Treo 700w on Sprint coming in February

A secondhand Bear Stearns analyst report posted by a stock market enthusiast website suggests that Sprint will be releasing the Palm Treo 700w earlier than anyone expected, possibly as soon as late Febuary or early March. This contradicts the generally accepted premise that Verizon had several months exclusivity on the device, as well as speculation that Sprint would launch a new Palm OS based Treo instead. The message adds that Sprint will continue to offer the Treo 650 as well, for $50 less than the suggested price of the 700w. From the report:

Based on our channel checks, it appears that Sprint is likely to offer the latest Palm Treo 700w (Windows version) as early as end of February, which would be ahead of schedule (following its launch with Verizon on 1/5) Sprint version of Treo 700 was not expected until end of March at the earliest based on the historical length of the exclusivity agreements with carriers (i.e., 3-6 months).



BenQ P50 still alive, sort of

And now for something from the too little, waaay too late file. Do you remember the BenQ P50? No? Well, no real reason you should. It was a PocketPC phone of marginal design, introduced just over two years ago, but never released on any US carrier. It was originally scheduled to launch in the summer of 2004, but that kept being delayed, through the fall and into the summer of 2005. After that, it kind of dropped off the radar, presumably having been the subject of a quiet mercy killing at BenQ headquarters.

As it turns out, we presumed wrong. Believe it or not, BenQ is now selling the thing in Europe. Quad-band GSM/GPRS (no EDGE or UMTS like most of the new HTC models have), a 416 MHz processor, 64 MB RAM, 64 MB ROM, Bluetooth, WiFi, and Windows Mobile 2003 SE, all for a mere 535 (US$650). Talk about crazy.




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