RumorMill™: Analyst Confirms Treo 610

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Rumors of a replacement for palmOne’s popular Treo 600 smartphone have been circulating for months, but there has never been any strong evidence for the existence of the Treo 610. Thanks to an industry analyst, that has now changed.

Analysts are routinely given information about upcoming products before it is available to the public. Companies want analysts to know what they have planned for the future, in hopes the analysts will approve of their plans and recommend people buy their stocks.

Of course, the analysts aren’t expected to make this information publicly available. However, they are only human and sometimes things leak out.

According to Dow Jones Newswires, a recent research note written by Detwiler Mitchell & Co. covers palmOne’s plans to change parts suppliers for the CDMA modems used in some of its models. This note says, “we are hearing that PalmOne has plans to move away from Sierra Wireless for models following the Treo 600 and 610.”

The Detwiler Mitchell note even mentions that palmOne is going to launch the Treo 610 on Verizon Wireless’ network during the second quarter of this year. Several weeks ago, Verizon briefly had a note on its web site that said the Treo 600 will be available soon. This hasn’t happened yet, and it’s possible Verizon has decided to wait until the Treo 610 is available.

More About the Treo 610

Though the Treo 600 has met with generally positive reviews, there have been some complaints. The new model is supposed to deal with these problems.

Many were unhappy about the Treo 600’s 160-by-160-pixel screen. According to rumor, the next model will have a high-resolution screen. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the Treo 610 will have a higher resolution screen than the Treo 600 does. Mobile phone makers and handheld makers have different definitions of the term “high resolution.” In the mobile phone world, the Treo 600 already has a high resolution screen, because it’s much better than the ones offered on most handsets. If the original source for this information is a wireless carrier, it’s possible the Treo 610 will have the same 160-by-160-pixel screen as its predecessor.

In addition, the new model is expected to have Bluetooth wireless networking, which the current one lacks. People have been asking for this feature mostly so they can use Bluetooth-enabled headsets.

Reportedly, the Treo 610 will also have more memory than the current model does, though how much more is not known.

Apparently, these improvements will come without changing the rest of the Treo 600’s design (see picture at left). The new model will still be a relatively small smartphone with a keyboard and a camera that runs the Palm OS.

This description is based on information leaked to BargainPDA.com.

An Important Product

The Treo 600 smartphone has proved to be a very important product for palmOne. The company credited strong Treo 600 sales with greatly improving its financial results last quarter, and 28 percent of its revenue from December to February came from this one device.

However, this device hasn’t done nearly as well in Europe as it has in the U.S. It’s possible some of the changes made in the upcoming model, including the addition of Bluetooth, will help improve its fortunes on the other side of the Atlantic.

Whether BargainPDA.com‘s description of the Treo 610 is correct or not, there are definitely going to be new Treo models coming eventually. palmOne CEO Todd Bradley said recently that his company intends to release a whole range of smartphones, from entry-level models to high-end ones.

Thanks to Craig Bowers for the tip.

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