PalmOne Treo 650 Euro debut delayed to Q2

Smart phone to ship through Orange

The European release of PalmOne's Treo 650 smart phone has been delayed, the company said this week.

Launched in the US in October 2004, the 650's European debut was initially pegged for February 2005, according to comments made at the time by Ed Colligan, the company's president and soon-to-be interim CEO.

However, PalmOne said yesterday that the handset will now ship here in Q2 - at least five months after the 650 shipped in the US.

At least PalmOne has the backing of the Orange network, which will offer the smart phone to its UK, French and Swiss customers. Orange said the 650 will support its TalkNow push-to-talk service when the handset goes on sale. TalkNow is currently available only on the Treo 600.

The 650 improves on its predecessor, the 600, with a higher-resolution 65,000-colour 320 x 320 display, integrated Bluetooth, VGA digicam with 2x digital zoom, a faster, 312MHz Intel XScale processor and 32MB of Flash memory, of which 22MB to 23MB are available to the user. There's an SD IO slot for expansion, and the device runs PalmOS 5.4, aka 'Garnet'.

The new model also sports an easier-to-use QWERTY backlit keyboard, now with call make and break buttons. According to PalmOne, the GSM version of the 650 provides up to six hours' talk time and 12 days on stand-by. ®

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