Photo Of New Treo Emerges, Proves That Palm Is Still A Year Behind The Industry

We’ve spent the last two years with a Palm Treo, and it’s proven to be both the best and worst phone we’ve ever owned. In the next few months, we hope to upgrade to a 3G Apple (AAPL) iPhone.

Why not another Palm (PALM)? Take a look at the photo to the right.

Mobile site Boy Genius Report has unveiled a photo of what it claims is the Palm 800w, the company’s new Treo smartphone. And… we think it’s hideous.

Pretty much everyone else in the mobile business has been able to lift at least some of the features that make the iPhone so appealing — large, glossy screen; thin, elegant case; etc. Not Palm.

Will it sell? That depends how much Palm wants for it. At $199 — no higher — it might do OK.

Palm’s Centro — basically a miniature version of this phone — has done well, helping Palm sell a record number of phones in the last quarter. But that’s because Palm only wanted $99 for it (after carrier subsidies). Meanwhile, that cut-rate pricing has torched their profits — the company lost $31.5 million last quarter on $312.1 million of sales.

Palm still has a little time to figure things out: We won’t know much about the company’s long-term prospects until its new, Linux-based operating system — and whatever slick new phones they can sell along with it — comes out in 2009. The smartphone business is going to grow rapidly for several years, so if Palm can deliver a competitive product, there’s still plenty of growth opportunity for them. But they’re going to have to do much, much better than this.

See Also:
Palm: Wait ‘Til Next Year
Palm Blows Another Quarter
Palm: Buy A Centro, Sell The Stock

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