Palm today launched the Treo 500v, its first foray into the consumer smartphone market. The Palm Treo 500v will be sold in the UK and in seven other European territories exclusively through Vodafone. As with its predecessor, the Treo 750v, the 500v runs an adapted version of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.0 operating system.
Importantly, anyone signing up for “a fairly standard” 12-month Vodafone mobile phone contract will pay nothing for the handset itself. Particulars of exactly what the subscription cost would be were not available at the press launch for the Treo 500v but will be disclosed imminently.
Vodafone already offers the Treo 750v – a handset described by a Vodafone spokeman as a “high-end business smartphone” for free on a £35-a-month phone contract. It’s likely that contracts for a Palm Treo 500v will start at less than this.
Vodafone also has an exclusive deal with BlackBerry maker RIM (Research In Motion) to sell its 8310 handset – another smartphone aimed at the consumer and ‘prosumer’ end of the market - at least until the end of October.