by Edmund Jenks
| August 21, 2008 at 10:42 am
710 views | 12 Recommendations | 2 comments
In North America, the cellphone/smartphone marketplace had been controlled by the businesses that provided the airwave radio links directly to the manufactured device that the customer carried. In short, all functionality of the phone was tightly controlled by the radio link provider as opposed to the manufacturer and/or the inventive software developer that could make the smartphone do more.
Palm, in a break from tradition and to gain an advantage in the marketing of their new Treo Pro plans to sell the device directly to the customers who want this freedom to have an unlocked (functions dictated by the radiolink operators – companies like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and etc.).
This strategy just might be a case of – “if you can’t join ‘em, lick ‘em”! This excerpted and edited from Computerworld - Palm plans to sell Treo Pro without operator partner Treo Pro smart phone aimed squarely at enterprise customers August 20, 2008 - IDG News Service Palm Inc.'s decision to sell an unlocked Treo Pro, its newest smart phone aimed squarely at enterprise customers, could either be the start of a new trend or a sign that the struggling company may face even harder times to come, one analyst said. ---- "It may be the beginning of a trend, but it may also be a bad sign," said Bill Hughes, an analyst at In-Stat. While he said he had no reason to think this is the case, Hughes noted that there is a chance that Palm couldn't find an operator interested in picking it up. ---- The Treo Pro, which runs Windows Mobile and includes Wi-Fi and GPS (Global Positioning System) capability, will become available later this year on Palm's online store as well as from other Internet sites, retailers and enterprise resellers. While some companies might be interested in buying unlocked devices, Palm might struggle to sell the new Treo to individuals without the help of operators. ---- But buying unlocked phones can allow an enterprise buyer to better negotiate with mobile operators, Hughes noted. That's because operators typically factor in the cost of handset subsidies when selling airtime to enterprises. In theory, having unlocked phones could also allow an enterprise to negotiate a better deal from a competitive mobile operator and easily switch to that operator by simply providing users with new SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards to insert into their phones. However, in the U.S. that's not a major benefit because operators use multiple incompatible technologies. The Treo Pro runs on 3G technology used by T-Mobile, an operator not typically favored by enterprise users, and by AT&T Inc. ---- The Treo Pro doesn't come cheap: It will cost $549. It's difficult to compare that price with those other popular phones because most, like the iPhone, require a multiyear service contract with an operator in the U.S. In Europe, Vodafone Italia sells the 8GB iPhone 3G without a contract for $734). The Treo Pro is an attractive device that in some ways resembles the iPhone. It's one of the first phones to come out of Palm since Jon Rubinstein, a former Apple Inc. engineer who contributed to the creation of the iPod, joined the company. SOURCE>>