Sprint Isn’t Crippling Bluetooth in Upcoming Devices

by Reads (14,193)

When Sprint began showing off its version of the Treo 650 this week at the CTIA tradeshow, people realized that one of its more important Bluetooth functions had been disabled.

Reporters from TreoCentral noticed that while Sprint version of palmOne’s latest smartphone can be used with wireless headsets, the Treo 650 can not be used as a wireless modem for other computers.

This is a feature that is available in the GSM/GPRS version of this smartphone, and some people, most notably Marc Hedlund on O’Reilly Developer Weblogs, immediately began to accuse Sprint of deliberately crippling its version so it could sell more cellular-wireless access cards for laptops.

The Treo 650 wasn’t the only cellular-wireless device announced by Sprint this week. The Audiovox PPC-6601 is a Pocket PC that also includes Bluetooth, and some doubted Sprint would allow it be used as a wireless modem for other computers, either.

Fortunately, it turns out that the Sprint is going to add this feature to Treo 650 and it will be a part of the PPC-6601. Jeff Shafer from Sprint Business Solutions Public Relations contacted Mr. Hedlund to say:

    Due to some development deadlines, the phone has been launched as described, without the DUN [dial-up networking] capability. However, as part of a scheduled maintenance release of software (timing pending some testing), the DUN capabilities will be supported. We also support the functionality in the just released PPC-6601 (Pocket PC device)

More about the palmOne Treo 650

Treo 650 The Treo 650 has some notable improvements over its predecessor, including a better screen, a swappable battery, and Bluetooth.

Despite these changes, the Treo 650 will be quite similar to the current Treo 600 in size and shape.

Obviously, the version offered by Sprint will use this carrier’s CDMA/1XRTT wireless networks, allowing it to handle both voice calls and transfer data at up to 144 kbps, though 50 to 70 kbps is a more realistic, real world, speed.

While at least one other U.S. carrier is expected to begin offering this smartphone before the end of the year, no company besides Sprint has committed itselve yet. palmOne said this device won’t be available in Europe or Asia until 2005.

Much more information on the palmOne Treo 650 can be found in this article.

Thanks to Darkshadow and Engadget for the tips.

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