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Handspring Unveils Third Treo PDA-Phone

6/18/2003 09:24:00 AM Eastern

Mountain View, Calif. - Handspring announced plans to ship its third Treo PDA-phone series in the fall, but the company's planned purchase by Palm in the fall leaves distribution strategies up in the air.

Handspring markets its two current Treo Communicators to carriers, having dropped direct sales to dealers earlier this year. Palm, on the other hand, sells direct to retailers, a Handspring spokesperson said. For now, Handspring is operating under the assumption that it will sell to carriers, the spokesperson added.

The new Treo 600 series will offer two versions of the same device, one for CDMA 1X networks, and the other for GSM/GPRS networks. One version will be a quad-band model operating on 850MHz and 1,900MHz networks in the U.S. and 900MHz and 1,800MHz networks in other countries. A second version will operate on 800MHz and 1,900MHz CDMA 1X networks in the United States. They're expected to retail for around $500.

The 600 is promoted as more phone-like than its predecessor because 600 series phones are smaller. They also lack their predecessors' flip cover.

Sprint, which currently sells the Treo 300 at $499, will likely offer the 1X version in the U.S., Handspring said. Carrier T-Mobile sells the Treo 270 at $399, including rebate, and Handspring sells the 270 on its Web site with AT&T activation.