According to PhoneNews, Sprint plans to phase out the dog known as Palm Treo 700p in May:
The model is said to be replaced in June by a machine called Sherlock – it will be offered in dark blue and burgundy(read: dark red with a slight pinkish hue) color choices.
Anyways, I have a pretty “wild-assed guess” style theory on what this Sherlock thingy of Palm’s is. Yeah, I don’t have confirmation for all of this – but I know from a trusted source that Palm is developing and testing some kind of clamshell due to be released in approx. the next five months. But lets dive right in…
I personally expect a clamshell handheld somewhat similar to either Nokia Communicator or HTC Universal(probably not a slider technique) with a big(HiRes+) screen, bluetooth/wlan or bluetooth/gprs and some kind of integrated storage that we know and love from the Palm LifeDrive which was recently discontinued.
This is supported by first of all the insider source mentioned above, and also by a few other factors. First of all, clamshell handhelds come out in hoardes currently – HTC Ameo, HTC Universal, etc. Palm has a long experience with keyboards in handheld devices(see: 5way navigation, …) – so why not use the know-how?
Secondary, Palm will probably not want to give up on its “usb” memory idea and technology. OK, the Palm LifeDrive was not exactly well-done in some aspects, but it was a revolutionary idea nevertheless…creating a smart USB stick is still a great idea. I’ll never forget the ahs and ohs I got when I used my Palm Tungsten T3 as USB stick and then viewed the stored files.
Last but not least, Palm hasn’t launched any really innovative “highend” boxen for a long time – its fast loosing the grip on the high-end organizer/Smartphone range, giving leeway to companies like HTC and HP.
To cut a long story short, this year is gonna be crucial for Palm. If Palm releases cool products, it could keep and reclaim its place as industry leader. But, if Palm doesn’t manage to get quality and innovation under control, I expect the “downward spin” to speed up even more. Up or down – what way do you expect us to go?