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The Palm Centro
Palm hopes to keep seeing its Centro smartphones fly off store shelves

Palm Inc. may be stuck in a rut and facing difficult financial times, but it hopes selling 2 million units of the Centro smartphone in 2008 will help turn things around.

At least 1 million units have been shipped so far in the United States since the phone's launch in mid-October.  The Centro is Palm's fastest selling smartphone in company history.

Palm's recent announcement that the phone is now available for Verizon Wireless will help the company ship even more units of the phone.  Consumers can now purchase and use a Centro on the Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint Nextel phone networks.

Verizon customers can purchase the phone for $99.99 after a $70 MIR and two-year customer agreement or extension with Verizon.

Centro features a QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth, digital camera, 64MB internal memory, and runs on Palm OS 5.4.9.

The phone is considered a smaller, easier to use Palm Treo smartphone, but it has some drawbacks.  While it allows its users to e-mail, browse the internet, text and picture message, there isn't a built-in instant message program available.

The Centro's success can be attributed to new smartphone users, Palm indicated in a press release.  The Apple iPhone 3G may have gotten a price cut, but the Centro remains cheap and easy to use, and Palm expects it will continue to draw in new smart phone owners.

Understanding its using an aging operating system and internet browser unlikely to please experienced smart phone owners, Palm is working on a new OS that should be available in 2009.  The team of developers will be responsible solely for creating a new interactive platform aimed directly towards higher-end, more experienced phone users.

According to IDC, Palm increased its market share 5 percent, and now controls 13 percent of the global smartphone market.

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It looks nice, but...
By Clauzii on 6/15/2008 2:43:14 PM , Rating: 2
64MB seems like not very much. I'd expect a gig or so in a device like this?

RE: It looks nice, but...
By retrospooty on 6/15/2008 2:53:16 PM , Rating: 4
Nope. Other than MP3's you would never ever use it. 64mb is plenty on a Palm OS device. Throw your MP3's on a $7 1gb micro SD card and your done with it.

RE: It looks nice, but...
By Clauzii on 6/15/2008 4:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
For the market they are aiming at (looking at the ads) 64MB seems too small. For $7 it should have been in there from the start, I think.

RE: It looks nice, but...
By retrospooty on 6/15/2008 6:12:03 PM , Rating: 2
I would prefer it be there too, but it is a low end cheapo smartphone... I had a Treo 755p for 1 year and I am still at 45 megs free of 62.8 available. The Palm OS is really lean, files and apps are much smaller than equivalent files and apps on Windows Mobile.

RE: It looks nice, but...
By GaryJohnson on 6/15/2008 9:22:43 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't matter how much onboard flash it has so long as it has some kind of SD slot, but looking at the specs it says it can only support up to 4GB. That's the real drawback. 8GB MicroSDHC cards are just becoming the best value in $/GB.

RE: It looks nice, but...
By retrospooty on 6/15/2008 11:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
Not to me... I have a 1gb micro sd card that is more than plenty mp3's for me. Pretty good for a $ 100 smartphone. And the great thing is I dont have to use Winmobile or Blackberry OS. Both are irritating to me.

RE: It looks nice, but...
By adiposity on 6/16/2008 7:17:03 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe it should have more built-in space. My SCH-i760 from verizon is probably a ~$400 phone being sold for $200 now, I'd guess. It comes with only 64, but has a slot that can handle up to 4gb (which is what I have). That's fine for me. The added versatility of a memory stick plus the ability to choose exactly how much you invest in space seems worth it to me. Would I prefer it had 1gb built-in? Sure I would. But in the end I would have upgraded it anyway, so it barely matters. There's no point in making the phone 10% more expensive when you can leave it up to the user.


By mforce on 6/15/2008 7:35:40 PM , Rating: 3
Well the article says that "there isn't a built-in instant message program available" and if you look at the picture , guess what ? Maybe it's just me but that looks like AIM .

By retrospooty on 6/16/2008 12:17:01 AM , Rating: 2
Ya, thats just wrong... It has the same SMS that the 700 and 755's have. It makes your text messages appear as instant messages (just like AIM or Yahoo messenger, or Skype would on a PC) saves history etc.

Such a pathetic company
By gochichi on 6/15/2008 11:50:04 PM , Rating: 3
I can't recall ever seeing a tech company roll over and die quite like Palm. They had such potential in an ever increasing platform size (small, whether phone or not, they had it going on). I held out for a couple of years to get a new Tungsten successor that would never come.

I don't understand it, I don't know what the hell the leadership of this company is thinking. The only thing I see in their future is "sell low"... but why? Engineers with decent paychecks sleeping at their desks, maybe they have no engineers at all. It's just so miserably pathetic, I would be extremely surprised if my children ever get to buy a Palm product... and it just didn't have to be that way at all. They'll choose from Apple, from Microsoft but due to leadership ineptitude they'll never choose from Palm.

I had a zealot's zeal for Palm products at one point, but they have just stopped cold turkey and completely froze their product development. Just like Apple has Mac OS X (which say what you will, there's people that swear by it) Palm had Palm OS (and I certainly swore by it FOR A WHILE, against all odds even, for an extra year or two than anyone should ever be expected to hold out).

It's just amazing to me that Palm is still around. It's frustrating to watch the years go by as the cobwebs continue to develop on their now archaic OS and their overpriced devices (not the Centro of course, the Centro is just archaic, not overpriced). Won't Apple do them a favor and take us out of our misery and throw them a couple of bucks to buy them out?

More than anyone I would love to see Palm's leadership come back from the Bahamas and start working on their company again... but I just don't expect it. There are those for whom a few million dollars is more than plenty, and I can understand that but it's been years, you think they would have gotten tired of partying by now and would have grown some ambition by now. Oh well. I guess for some of us Palm will just be a fond 90's memory.

RE: Such a pathetic company
By retrospooty on 6/16/2008 12:13:45 AM , Rating: 2
" Engineers with decent paychecks sleeping at their desks"

I worked at Palm from 2002 to 2007... Take it from me, that sentence you said above sums it up. The design engineering team at Palm is a rediculous joke, as is the sustaining engineering, firmware engineering and software engineering teams are useless as well... (I know, I was heavily involved thier repair operations). Not that that is the only problem. Palms management is inept, and spent more time restructuring the company in my 5 yreas than anything. We Went from Palm, to Palm solutions group, split off from the software group (Palmsource) then changed our name to PalmOne, merged with Handspring, then bought our name back as Palm... Meanwhile Management was all asleep at the wheel and figure out engineering was inept soon enough and didnt outsource design engineering until 2007. Long after their dominant position and huge headstart had turned into a trailing position. Palm cant compete... I dont think the next gen Palm OS will either. not against Google's Android and Linux, and Win Mobile and Blackberry (none of the above, much less all of the above).

Still with all that said, and Palm bleeding cash... I still like my Centro for the price. Too bad Palm isnt making enough money from it to help much.

64bit support?
By RjBass on 6/15/2008 5:30:36 PM , Rating: 2
Well good, maybe Palm will finally support 64bit operating systems with its new OS. So it's to be released in 2009? Hell thats only 2 years after the introduction of Vista 64 and I don't know how many years after XP 64 and Linux 64. Palm has been way behind the power curve lately and now trying to please the low end market with crap phones like the Centro is not helping them to get caught up.

RE: 64bit support?
By ET on 6/16/2008 5:09:21 AM , Rating: 2
And not even a sign of Blu-ray support on the horizon. Shame on them!

By djkrypplephite on 6/17/2008 6:18:29 AM , Rating: 2
I'll give you that the browser on it sucks big time. But you can get Opera mini, so it's all good. The only problem is finding the IBM microsphere Java VM to run it.

RE: Browser
By Bender 123 on 6/17/2008 2:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
No kidding...I just squeaked in on the centro in January, when VM was still freely available from Palm. You can still find it, but it is not nearly as easy.

I am a real fan of this phone. I have an iPod touch for media and the centro for PDA/phone functions. I know many people with gen 1 iPhones and they can not compare to the Centro in call quality and data speed on a 3G network (sorry ATT Centro owners...)

It is small, light and easy to use.

Getting tired of loser spec's
By rupaniii on 6/15/2008 5:10:53 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah,I can seriously see the need for a gig of ram in these things. I'd take half a gig. I'm talking like some MoSys ram like Nintendo used. Speed and storage advantages. Frankly, I don't expect subpar performance. I just expect lack of features. To date, they have lacked SPEED, which isn't a feature, it's performance.
Apple's iPhone platform is currently the only platform performing office duties at an acceptable speed for my use. I have not had a chance with the N810 yet, but otherwise, i'm not satisfied with the devices.

RE: Getting tired of loser spec's
By RjBass on 6/15/2008 5:26:16 PM , Rating: 2
My Blackjack 2 preforms office duties just fine and at a nice speed.

By labcondave on 6/15/2008 6:30:47 PM , Rating: 2
2 million, neato.

No offense Palm, but...
By benx009 on 6/15/2008 7:28:54 PM , Rating: 2
It's going to take a miracle for this phone to compete with the iPhone 3G, especially if T-Mobile manages to get their hands on it along with AT&T.

IM program not available?
By djkrypplephite on 6/17/2008 6:13:33 AM , Rating: 2
"The phone is considered a smaller, easier to use Palm Treo smartphone, but it has some drawbacks. While it allows its users to e-mail, browse the internet, text and picture message, there isn't a built-in instant message program available."

Mine came with one built in. It supports AIM as well as other popular clients. I don't remember what they are since I don't use them, but they're there. Probably Yahoo and MSN and a few others. I'm Sprint though, so maybe that's just us.

A little too late
By nukunukoo on 6/17/2008 5:00:05 PM , Rating: 2
Sadly at this point, the only way Palm could compete is if they offer one Killer (and free) SDK and a Killer Price (that won't be so low to be a Palm killer at that).

Thank goodness a thread with no Crysis comment! Errrr....

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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