Memo to GE Supra, Ditch the Palm Treo – its days are numbered.

by THE WAV GROUP on December 24, 2008

I switched from Blackberry to Palm when the Treo came out, and used the Treo (really, 8 replacement phones) for three years before moving to the iPhone.   I had my reasons – principally the top 10 reasons were the 10 people who reported into me, coupled with communications with the executive team during a three-year project.  The company also had a relationship with Verizon, CRM integration, etc.  When you have everything tied into one mobile platform – best bet is to stick with it, right?

For real estate, it is time to let go!

The treo is large and clunky – but it did everything that I needed before web 2.0.  Now with blogging, facebook, twitter, Google Everything Apps and location services like zhiing – the treo is dead.  Today’s mobile platform leaders are iPhone, Blackberry, SymbianAndroidand WinMo.

With only an iPhone, and missing my Blackberry, I went overboard recently and set up service on a Curve 8830 and also now carry the TMobile G1 Android.  The second phone was a backup, the third was for fun.  Be sure to check out the G1 link – great web design.

But, will the treo ever die for Real Estate?

The Palm treo is the worst smartphone device on the market today by everyone’s account.  However, due to GE Supra’s integration with the Infrared port on the treo – it is deployed in nearly 80% of MLS markets across the land.   Treo was the only smartphone that would open the GE Lockboxes!

Thank goodness that Blackberry invested heavily into coming up with a work around in cooperation with GE Supra called the Blackberry eKey.  Agents in those markets finally have a choice.  From what I have gleaned from a variety of sources, Blackberry has proven itself as the device of choice for REALTORS and is gaining ground over the Treo.  Finally!

Now, former rock star turned philanthropist billionaire, Bono and his buddies have invested another  $100M into Palm to take the last stab at a turnaround.  I imagine that this is their last ditch effort is the release of their new operating system, NOVA – due to be launched atCES in January 8-11th.

Today, 7 or 8 Million people are walking around with Treos.  If Palm really nails this release – it could take a bite out of iPhone sales,.  BUT ONLY if the carriers agree to support the marketing of the device.  – Not very likely.

Everyone is already hooked up – AT&T/iPhone, TMobile/Android, and Verizon/Storm already committed to joint marketing campaigns- Palm has nowhere to go to get marketing dollars and inventory commitments to launch the product even if Nova is the next coming.  $100 Million is barely enough to tool the line and fill the supply chain for the product launch.

Figure this one out – Second quarter sales for PALM was $171 Million and their losses were $506 Million.  They are sitting on a valuation of $1.3B.  Why would anyone invest in a company that looses money every time they sell something?  Furthermore, with all of the noise, how will Palm compete?  And lastly, if REALTORS are going to learn how to use a new phone – surely Blackberry would be the first choice, followed by iphone and the others.

 

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