Sprint Will Be the First to Offer Next-Generation Treo

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Early this morning, palmOne took the wraps off the Treo 650, its next smartphone. Sprint has just announced that it will be the first wireless carrier in the world to offer this device.

When it becomes available next month, the Treo 650 will be a Palm OS smartphone with a Hi-Res screen, a built-in keyboard, and Bluetooth.

Sprint will offer the Treo 650 for $600. While the company says this device will be available in November, Sprint didn’t name any specific date.

Treo 650 The standard Treo 650 comes with a VGA camera, but Sprint business customers will have the option to purchase a non-camera version of the device later this year.

And Bluetooth… Sort of

While the Treo 650 will include Bluetooth short-range wireless networking, TreoCentral is reporting that Sprint appears to have modified its version of this smartphone in such a way that it can’t be used as a wireless modem for other computers, like a laptop.

However, the Treo 650 can be used with Bluetooth headsets.

Update: Sprint says it won’t criple Bluetooth in its upcoming devices. More informetion is available in this article.

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

More about the palmOne 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 Spring 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.

Business and personal wireless email for the new device will be provided by Sprint PCS Business Connection, which can work with Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino data. the Treo 650 also supports Microsoft Exchange Server ActiveSync for over-the-air synchronization of email and calendar information with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003.

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

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