Treo Madness sweeps the Nation?

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Is Treo 600 the new IPod? It seems so!

Last week was spent the cold canyons of Manhattan. And I saw an awkward behavior – there were people who behaved strangely around a certain device called Treo 600. Let me back-up a bit. Peter “Gizmodo” Rojas met me for a drink at my favorite French bistro, Steak Frites, for a glass of Merlot. And then like a cowboy drawing his six-gun, he plunked down his gray colored Treo on the Zinc bar, and proclaimed, “I love this device. It does everything for me.” He had a secure digital card which stored his music, which made it easy for him to turn his Treo into an MP3 player. Thanks to a speedy Sprint Internet connection, he could check his email right at the bar. (I was struggling with the old GPRS-based Motorola A388.) For a man who gets his share of devices, it was hard to imagine how he could love Treo 600 so much.

I personally did not care much about the device and have mixed feelings about it. Perhaps that explains why I have refrained from writing about it. The keypad is too small to type comfortably, hate the low-res screen and just found the device too heavy for my liking. Still there were some redeeming qualities like great email client. Music player is brilliant but the headphone jack is in an awkward kind of place, at the bottom of the device. Good quality PIM and easy text messaging made it to the plus side of the ledger. I found that the battery power of the GSM unit was fabulous. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. And I cannot force myself to spend $600 on the device. (A full review might appear if I can snag a review unit.)

Point taken, but I was still not convinced. Next afternoon, I met Jeff Jarvis and Anil Dash for lunch. Jeff, who is the master of media in New York blogged the big Iranian blog scoop right from Tamarind using his Treo 600 (again with a Sprint PCS service) as a modem. Finally I was suitably impressed for Jeff is a gentleman of the old school. In other words, he is a classic journalist who despite being curious about stuff, retains a sense of cynicism. But his ringing endorsement of Treo was impressive. He even used it for blogging!

Peter and Jeff might be early adopters, but that same evening I saw Treo 600 on television. In the restaurants, bars, and even night clubs I saw Manhattanites chatting away on their Treo or thumbing their text messages. Quite impressive for a device that is barely three months old in the market. Even as waited for my JetBlue flight back to San Francisco (via Oakland) I saw folks thumbing happily. And even at work people were talking about Treo.

It seems a Treo has become the new cultural icon. If 2003 was the year of Ipoddery, then 2004 could be a year of Treo-trendiness.

Recommended reading: Anatomy of a Buzz Campaign

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Symbian/UIQ Man

I don’t understand it either… 160×160 pixel screen, 3,375 colours, keys of which 4 or 5 could fit on your finger nail… Why so popular? My P900 does more that the Treo, is more stable, lighter, MUCH bigger screen (208X320), 65,536 colours and I got this in the middle of last year! My P800 from 2 years ago ALSO out-specs this monstrosity! The American public is hilarious.. If a device runs Palm OS, they love it. If it crashes on them three times a day, they love it. If it gets a virus, wipes their drive, they love it. I mean, look at Windows and you see a perfect comparison. Quite a few people haven’t even HEARD of Symbian, but they’re so quick to denounce is as crap. Just today, this bloke came into my shop and tried to show off his “intricate” knowledge of smartphones. Yappin and yappin about the Treo. I pulled out my P9 and he was shocked. When he asked if it ran Palm and I cursed him out, he looked at me and blurted, “Well, what does it run?” I replied with a smug, “Symbian,” and he proclaimed, “I’ve never even heard of it,” and stomped out of my store. People can be such idiots! Like those Windows users that say “Macs and *nix boxes suck!” but when you sit one down in front of one, they haven’t the slightest clue as to what to do. Sorry about the long post but I just have really strong feelings against the Treo and their bloody ignorant users… Cheers

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