By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The Treo Pro, Palm's second PDA phone equipped with W-CDMA/HSDPA wireless-data technology, became available through direct marketers and the company's Web site as an unlocked phone at a suggested $549.
Although Palm offers locked and unlocked phones, the Pro is the first Palm phone to be available initially as an unlocked model, a spokeswoman said. Previous Palm phones became available first through carriers as locked models before becoming available in unlocked versions, she explained. Last year, for example, Palm launched its first HSDPA phone, the Treo 750 with Windows Mobile 5.0 OS, as a locked model through AT&T Wireless before making it available in unlocked form.
The direct marketers selling the device include CDW, Dell, PC Connection, PC Mall and Enterprise Mobile. Some of them primarily target direct sales to enterprises, although PC Mall and Dell also sell to consumer users.
Pro features include touchscreen and QWERTY keyboard, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, GPS and the higher-speed 3.6Mbps version of high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) technology, which in the AT&T network accelerates actual download speeds to an average 600kbps to 1.4Mbps.
Other features include a direct connection to an enterprise's Microsoft Exchange Server for push email, contacts and calendars. Windows Mobile 6.1's compatibility with Microsoft's System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 enables IT managers to manage the PDA phone as they would PCs and laptops. The removable battery packs up to five hours of talktime.
With embedded GPS, the Pro accesses TeleNav's GPS Navigator service, which delivers turn-by-turn directions by voice. It also accesses Google Maps when in Wi-Fi range.
Palm is offering a 24-month limited warranty for qualifying business customers who deploy the Treo Pro.
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