Bye, bye Treo and Palm

I am eagerly awaiting Apple’s foray into the phone OS business.

Last week I bought a Motorola Razr to replace my Treo650. It is beautiful, highly functional and tiny, and folds open to something substantial in my hand. The Razr synchronizes all business data from my Apple Powerbook wirelessly over Bluetooth, including most contacts and calendar appointments. At a quarter of the size, and a third of the price of a Treo it keeps me just as informed. No wonder Motorola sold 6 Million of them. Lucky Ed Zander, Motorola’s CEO who rolled into Motorola (from Sun) after the Razr had already been conceived.

Apart from previous comments in this blog about the Treo with regards to UI, target market, etc., the Treo’s bulky form-factor (which still reminds me of the old Ericsson, pre-Sony phones) with its pointy antenna, really started to bother me. I felt like a cop patrolling the neighborhood with a gun in its holster.

But the real reason for my change is a strategic one. I lost confidence in the Palm (Source) platform and so apparently has Palm’s CEO. The announcement of the Treo700 based on Windows Mobile has reduced Palm to a commodity hardware player with not much to be proud of. Owning and refining the Palm OS and segmenting it into identifiable target markets would have been the winning business strategy.

Amazing is the power and persistence of Microsoft who now delivers the Windows Mobile version on PDA phones from Motorola, Sharp, Samsung, HP, and other brands, steadily repeating its Windows PC software success downstream. I am eagerly awaiting Apple’s foray into the phone OS business.


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