Today I came across the new Treo 680 smart phone. The latest phone in the Treo line is targeted to be a “low cost” Treo for the masses. Treonauts has a wonderful review of the new phone. Upon first review, there isn’t a whole lot of new features in this phone other than the obvious change in form factor and color options. It makes sense that a phone targeted at the masses wouldn’t have a whole lot of new capabilities. The questions that immediately come to my mind is why has it take Palm so long to come out with this phone? There was a substantial gap between the Treo 650 and the next Treo Phone. I would have expected the 680 to have been along within a year of the 650.
I have been a palm user since about 1998 and an addict to my Palm 650 since the first day I had it. Finally, mobile email, my phone, and all the palm apps that I have embedded into my life in a single device! Sure, there are issues with the 650 (speaker not loud enough, lack of an easy way to switch from ring to vibrate to silent, wholly inadequate built in mail applicaiton) but it was a Palm! And Palm would fix those usability issues with the next phone right (well, not with the 70X series, but surely with the 680…can’t wait to get my hands on one to find out…)
But why was I addicted? It’s not because the Treo is the best phone or the best phone/PDA combo. The primary reason I have been addicted to my 650 is the fact that it runs the Palm OS. I have been using the PalmOS for so long that the thought of switching to a different platform scares me because of the all the applications and data that lives on my 650 and how dependant I have become upon them. Thinking of how much time it would take to integrate a new device into my work flow as well as converting the 10,000+ contacts scares me.
The real question that the 680 raises from me is the viability of the palm platform. What was the cause of the significant gap in time between the 650 and the 700 or 680? There are rumors flying around like crazy about Palm pushing Microsoft to let them develop a more “palm like” interface to Windows Mobile; of Palm porting the PalmOS to Linux; etc.
The real question is, should I start suffering through the pain of a conversion off of Palm?