Palm Treo 700wx Comes to Sprint

Palm today announced the availability of its new Treo 700wx smartphone running Windows Mobile 5.

The Treo 700wx is essentially identical to Palm’s Treo 700w, introduced in January, running Windows Mobile 5 available via Verizon. Well, except for three things: the Treo 700wc is offered by Sprint for use on its Power Vision network, it comes with more memory (60 MB of user-accessible memory), and it carries a heftier price tag ($499 for the Treo 700wx, compared to $299 for the Treo 700w).

The key selling point for the Treos is Windows Mobile, enabling users to have access to mobile version of Microsoft Office productivity applications, Windows Media Player 10, as well as mobile email, messaging, and calendar synchronization capabilities. Windows MObile 5 also appeals to enterprises looking to add smartphone and mobile capabilities to existing Microsoft-based communications and server infrastructures.

Sprint’s Power Vision networks supports data transfer at bandwidths of 400 to 700 Kbps; the Treo 700wx can also act as a wireless modem for use with laptops and other portable devices, offering an alternative to Wi-Fi hotspot-hunting while on the road. Otherwise, the Treo 700x sports a 240 by 200 pixel TFT display, BlueTooth 1.2, a 1.3 megapixel digital camera with 2× digital zoom and video capture capabilities, 2.5 mm headset jack, a full QWERTY keyboard with backlighting, support for SD and MMC, and SDIO memory expansion cards, and USB 2.0 connectivity.

It remains to be seen how much the partnership between Microsoft and Palm can significantly erode market share for Research In Motion’s popular Blackberry devices. Microsoft’s application suite certainly appeals to enterprise and organizational users, while Palm’s refinements make the interface and overall experience friendlier than what one would normally expect from Windows Mobile. However, Windows Mobile is gaining ground on its competitors, in part due to partnerships with manufacturers like Palm and Motorola.

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