The Treo 600 smart phone is an example of how a single product can create a mini-economy, benefiting palmOne (Nasdaq: PLMO), the company that sells it, as well as the many companies creating products and services for it.
The Treo 600, available for Sprint, T-Mobile Cingular and AT&T networks, is expected to sell 600,000 units in 2004.
It will generate $500 million to $600 million in combined revenues for palmOne, the accessory and software companies that support it, and the service providers. Orange, one of the United Kingdom's largest carriers, has found the Treo 600 to be one of the highest revenue-generating handsets on their network, contributing 100 euros per month vs. 50 euros for their average phone.
I've been using the Sprint version ($549, less $150 with a two-year contract).
Having been a long-time Verizon customer, I hesitated to move to Sprint. But Sprint's unlimited data plan, which is a must with this phone, is just $15 per month vs. Verizon's $45. (Verizon lags behind its competitors offering advanced phones, and doesn't yet sell the Treo, but is expected to shortly.) So far I've found the Sprint data and voice performance to be very good.
The Treo 600 does a number of things better than any other smart phone, including: syncing contacts and appointments with Outlook; dialing contacts with the push of a few buttons; receiving and sending e-mail with its built-in keyboard; browsing the Internet; a full complement of phone features including a speakerphone and camera, with a large screen to make them easier to use; 50 one-touch dial numbers and 100 bookmarks, each labeled with a name; and the ability to run all of the Palm applications.
I've been trying out a number of applications and other add-ons. Here are some of my favorites:
And with sales of the Treo continuing to grow, this is just the beginning.
Baker has developed and marketed consumer and computer products for Polaroid, Apple, Seiko and others. He is the holder of 30 patents and was named San Diego's Ernst & Young Consumer Products Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.