According to various news sites, the release of the Palm Treo 700p ROM update will see yet another delay – it starts to remind me a bit of Astraware’s famous Zap Evolution actually(he he). Anyways, let’s for a second assume that the reasons for the release delay are not of technical nature but rather a clever marketing plot…the outcome is surprising…let’s go!
First of all, Palm is a classic device seller company. That means that their main revenue source is the sale of their devices. User/carrier buys Treo, Palm makes cash. However, Palm does not usually profit from a customer who actively uses one of their products(their wireless backup solution could be seen as a step in that direction) – when you buy software or hardware at a non-Palm-store, Palm doesn’t see much cash. So, for Palm, the best way of making money is by selling many many devices.
The Treo 755p – as cool as it may look, was a very cheap hound for Palm to develop(IMHO). The outside has already been developed, and so has the planar(probably). A few small modifications to accommodate the CDMA modem, a bit of software patching – and Palm has literally “pulled a Palm”, to quote an old PalmInfoCenter commenter.
Selling the Treo 755p as dear as the 700p will probably not be possible now that Cingular has “set the price” for a Treo(anyone remember IBM DOS and OS/2??) with contract…and hey, if Palm can build a 680 for that price, their modified 755p won’t cost them much more now that most R&D has already been paid by WinMob and 680 customers.
And this is where someone in Palm’s marketing department stepped in. He thought about how – first of all – the number of users really feeling the Treo 700p’s shortcomings are a vocal minority of customers…upgrade-happy, tech-savvy customers. Customers who probably would love a better-looking, thinner and antennaless device.
So, by delaying the release date of the ROM update until the Treo 755p came out in “lots”, quite a few of those customers would probably update to a Treo 755p instead of waiting for the update. The carriers will probably give their customers discounts on the new machines to keep them happy(maybe instructed to do so by guys in orange overalls); and this leads to an extra bit of sales for Palm. It may not be much, but it is easily earned cash…something most people and especially large companies like….
Once again. This is all just speculation. I have not met anyone from Palm and asked him about this – so this is just a bit of far-fetched speculation that IMHO should be considered when looking at the whole Treo 700p story