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Long wait for Palm Windows Mobile Treo

Won't hit UK until H2 2006

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Palm unveiled its as-yet-unnamed Windows Mobile-based Treo smart phone yesterday, but don't expect to be able to get your hands on one until early next year, if you live in the US. Customers outside the States will have to wait the best part of a year before the device appears in their local markets.

No wonder product details were few and far between. While it emerged the unit, which will initially be offered on the Verizon network, will support the EV-DO high-speed data system, run Windows Mobile 5.0 and incorporate an Intel-sourced CPU, Palm has revealed little else about the device.

Palm naturally stressed it would be bringing some of its own software technology to the Microsoft party, but it didn't mention anything especially innovative.

All it did reveal, really, was when it will reveal more about the device. "Full product details will be disclosed when the product is available for purchase in early calendar 2006," the company said.

EV-DO operates on top of a CDMA network. Palm said "a Treo smart phone using Windows Mobile based on other wireless technologies was not anticipated to be released earlier than the second half of 2006". That's almost certainly a reference to either GSM/GPRS or 3G/UMTS, possibly both. Palm didn't say anything about deals with operators other than Verizon.

In Asia, the Chinese-language paper the Commercial Times once again claimed that Taiwanese manufacturer HTC had scooped the contract to produce the Windows Mobile Treo. Indeed, HTC, which is believed to be the producer of the Palm OS-based Trep 6xx models, is also thought to have helped Palm design the new machine.

Over the last couple of weeks, a variety of HTC customers have announced and begun shipping re-branded versions of its Universal Windows Mobile 5.0 3G/GSM/GPRS/Wi-Fi/Bluetooth handset.

For its part, Microsoft has posted a resource page for Palm OS developers keen to target the upcoming Treo. ®

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