Palm will be posting their first quarter 2008 financials and hold a conference call tomorrow at 4:30pm ET, 1:30pm PT.
“Designed for individuals and traditional mobile phone users looking for a better way to manage their professional and social lives, Palm, Inc. and Sprint today introduced the Palm(R) Centro(TM) smart device, at $99.99. With voice, text, IM, email, web, contact and calendar capabilities, a full-color touch screen and full keyboard, Centro brings Palm simplicity and organization to customers who want to stay connected with co-workers, friends and family. Centro will be exclusive through Sprint in the United States for 90 days and is available in onyx black or ruby red.”
“With a fun, new compact design, Centro is the smallest and lightest Palm phone to date. Centro has a modern, stylish look that feels comfortable in the hand, pocket or evening purse.”
“As the newest member of the Palm family, Centro is expected to attract new users to the smartphone category. According to IDC, the smartphone market is shifting to the mass market; U.S. smartphone shipments will grow from 13.8 million in 2007 to 74.4 million in 2011.”
The Centro is the new consumer oriented smartphone that Palm has been hinting about for a while now and shares some of the design elements of the recently announced Treo 500v for European wireless carrier Vodafone. To purchase the Centro smartphone for the advertised $99.99 you will need to commit to a new 2-year service agreement with Sprint. At this time, the retail pricing for the Centro without a service agreement for Sprint customers who are in between contract renewal periods is still unknown, however rumors circulating on the Internet in recent weeks pins the price of the Centro around $400.
The Centro is a standard Palm OS 5 based smartphone runing similar software as the Treo 680 and 755p. Since the Centro is a consumer oriented device, the popular mp3 player software Pocket Tunes has been upgraded to Pocket Tunes Deluxe. I also noticed that the Centro ships with VersaMail 4.0. At this time, it is not clear what has changed between this new version of VersaMail and version 3.5.x which has been shipping on the Treo 680, 700p, and 755p. (I also don’t know if there will be be an upgrade made available for existing Treo customers.)
The Centro is slightly smaller and lighter than the Treo 755p. Centro’s published dimensions are 4.22″ (L) x 2.11″ (W) x 0.73″ (D) where as the 755p is 4.4″ (L) x 2.3″ (W) x 0.84 (D). The Centro weighs in at 4.2 ounces while the 755p comes it at 5.64 ounces.
Centro will be a Sprint exclusive for 90-days and is expected to go on sale in mid-October. It is possible that the Centro and the Treo 500v could go on sale on in the US and the UK on the same day. Palm will be shipping the Sprint edition Centro in two colors, onyx (black) and ruby (red). Not surprising, there has been no mention during today’s announcement as to when a Verizon wireless Centro, or Treo 755p for that matter, will become available.
Palm and Sprint are expected to start taking Centro pre-orders from their respective websites starting tomorrow.
Palm and Sprint are expected to formally announce the Centro later today.
While the press release mostly contains information about the when and how to attend the event via webcast, today’s press release gives as a teaser with the line:
“The news will include a new Palm(R) smartphone for Sprint.”
Tomorrow’s event will likely be the formal announcement of the Palm Centro, the company’s first non-Treo smartphone.
This past week Palm and Verizon have cleared the Verizon Treo 700p Maintenance Release 1.10 update. As you may recall, Palm took down all of the Treo 700-series updaters after customers discovered a bug that prevented customers from consistently connecting to Verizon’s EVDO data network.
Palm recently posted on their support website:
The initial version of the Palm Treo 700p Updater 1.10, posted on July 12, 2007 incorrectly set a data connectivity parameter which may have produced an error when trying to connect to network data services.
These errors associated with this issue may include:
“Error 3000” errors when attempting to browse
“PPP Link Time Out error 0x1231” when attempting to connect to data
The Treo 700p Update 1.10 was modified to properly program the parameter which had been incorrectly set, and is reposted as either the:
– Or –
For the full details on the update including upgrade directions and the download link, visit the Palm website.
The Treo 700w|wx update was reposted back on September 18th.
Astraware Brings Popular Big Fish Games Title To Mobile Devices
Hidden Expedition: Titanic Now Available For Palm OS and Windows Mobile Smartphones and PDAs
KEELE, England and SEATTLE – September 19, 2007 – Astraware and Big Fish GamesTM, Inc. are excited to announce the availability of the highly acclaimed Hidden Expedition: TitanicTM game for Palm OS and Windows Mobile smartphones and PDAs.
The legendary RMS Titanic, which sank in 1912, still houses a wealth of artifacts and treasures on- board. Hidden Expedition: Titanic offers players the opportunity to explore the wreckage of this once-majestic ship and collect antique artifacts for the Titanic Museum. The partnership between Astraware and Big Fish Games will allow consumers to enjoy Hidden Expedition: Titanic straight from their mobile devices.
“We’re pleased to be working with Big Fish Games to bring some of their great titles to handhelds,” said Astraware CEO, Howard Tomlinson. “A first in the new category of ‘hidden object’ games for handhelds, Hidden Expedition: Titanic is sure to be a hit with mobile device users.”
Players hunt for hidden objects within the wreckage during 14 diving missions, ultimately leading to the final prize: The Crown Jewels. Based on the best-selling PC game, Hidden Expedition: Titanic for handhelds features the same stunning graphics and atmosphere of the original. Players have the choice of using the intuitive five-way control scheme or the stylus to find a variety of artifacts hidden within the sunken ship.
“Astraware has proven time and again to deliver only the highest quality games,” added Paul Handelman, VP of Business Development for Big Fish Games. “We’re proud to lead the introduction of hidden-object games to the handheld market with them. We’re confident that this is only the tip of the iceberg for us, so to speak.”
Hidden Expedition: Titanic is priced at $19.95 and is available for Palm OS devices with high-resolution screens running OS5 and above, and for Windows Mobile smartphones and PDAs running WM2003, 2003SE, 5 and 6. Download Hidden Expedition: Titanic from the Astraware Web site at: http://www.astraware.com/titanic
Alan Grassia to have a guest appearance on the Computer Outlook Radio Talk show.
Justin Nolan, the editor over at PDALive.com and co-host for John Iasiuolo’s Computer Outlook Radio Talk Show, has asked me to appear on Wednesday’s Palm handheld show. We’re planning on talking about Palm’s cancellation of the Foleo, “Palm OS II”, and the future direction of Palm.
The Computer Outlook Radio Talk show airs in 35 markets. If yours isn’t one of them (mine isn’t either) you can listen to the show live via an audio stream (Windows Media Player, QuickTime/iTunes, Real Player) daily at 5pm PT.
For more details, the live audio stream, and podcast archive RSS feed, visit the Computer Outlook Radio Talk Show website.
“Palm has been a valued partner of ours for over ten years and we have been involved with Foleo for over three of them. As such, we have put a great deal of effort into building a Linux-based Documents To Go for the Foleo project.
We see this Linux project as a necessary step in our journey and partnership with Palm. The decision to cancel the launch of Foleo is something that comes with the territory. It is a necessary bump in an otherwise great journey, and bodes well for Palm as it indicates they have tighter focus and better opportunities calling.”
– Dick Fontana, President & CEO, DataViz Inc.
Documents To Go was the first application that I purchased for my Palm IIIx device. I’m encouraged to hear that the relationship between Palm and DataViz is still intact. I’m looking forward to being able to use my Foleo with Documents To Go in the future since I already believe that Documents To Go is the best office suite for the Palm OS platform.
It has only been a short while since Palm CEO Ed Colligan announced on the Palm blog that the Foleo mobile companion was going to be canceled to allow Palm to focus on the development of “Palm OS II” which would be used to drive future solutions from his company.
As a result, beta testers of the Foleo I where asked to box their units up and send them home. (I should point out that I was not selected to be a beta tester.) An interesting post has shown up in the TreoCentral discussion forum. TreoCentral member Gameboy 70, who was a Foleo beta tester wrote:
“I just found out yesterday that I have to return my Foleo to Palm. The email stated that development of the current Foleo has ended, and that “A Foleo II will have different hardware,” which was tantalizing. “A” Foleo II makes it sound hypothetical, while “will” sounds imminent. I originally thought Palm was going to take a few more months to augment the firmware and flash the existing units.”
If this is true, I am encouraged by these developments. Many of the readers of Foleo Fanatics have already bought into the idea of the Foleo and the customer base it will support. This report of a new hardware design could signal that Palm could be making changes to the hardware that will allow Foleo II to return as an even more powerful device in the future.
One of the well publicized “issues” with the Foleo was that it couldn’t play Flash video, like those used by YouTube, as well as Palm and their customers had hoped. (I know that this issue was software based.)
Could new hardware be part of the future plans for the Foleo? The demo unit that I was able to play with did seem to be production grade. The keyboard felt solid and the lid and hinges seemed sturdy. Could Palm be mulling over a faster processor? More memory perhaps? Or could they be looking at newer battery technology to provide even longer run time on a single charge? Only Palm knows for sure at this point. Regardless I am encouraged by the prospects of a refreshed hardware design that could allow the Foleo to do even more than the original demo units.
What are your thoughts on the prospects for a Foleo II? Let us know by clicking the Comments link below.
[Thanks to the tipster who sent this in.]
This new version of Documents To Go adds support for Microsoft Office 2007 XML files allowing customers to open, edit, and create Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents and email attachments on their smartphones. The “Zip and Send” feature, added with this release, will allow customers to compress and email the open document.
“This version addresses our top customer request for full Office 2007 file support for Word, Excel and PowerPoint,” said Danny Tu, Documents To Go Product Manager, DataViz, Inc. “After many months of hard work and effort we are proud to produce a solution that stays true to the new XML-based Office 2007 file structure by retaining all file formatting through the use of our very own InTact Technology.”
Documents To Go v3.0010 retails for $29.99 and is available for purchase directly from DataViz.com, other online mobile software retailers, and DataViz retail sales outlets.