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Palm Centro Smartphone

Published on October 19, 2007 in General

Recently Palm debuted the Palm Centro smartphone, their first new handheld line in some time. The Centro is being positioned as a cellphone for those who are looking to upgrade from a basic phone to one with a more functionality such as email, instant messaging, and web browsing and has generally been receiving good reviews. The Centro comes with a full QWERTY thumbboard, a 320 x 320 touchscreen, and a camera that can shoot photos and video. For the first ninety days, it is available only through Sprint and will cost $99.99 with a new contract.

Palm Centro

For some time now Palm has been struggling to regain its footing in the marketplace. The Centro may be the boost Palm desperately needs depending on the expectation of users. Herein lies the problem. The Centro is designed to appeal to a young audience, one that wants a phone with personality and style and says something about who they are. The trouble is that there is nothing revolutionary about the Centro. It’s basically a shinier and slimmed down Treo, nothing earth shattering. The Centro’s main selling point is about a price breakthrough not a technology one.

Marketing aside, the Centro is the direction Palm should be headed. It is good to see Palm going aggressively after the lower end of the marketplace. What works in Palm’s favor (but could also be their downfall) is that the Palm OS is more stable than almost anything on the market today making it a great candidate on a device for the masses. This makes Palm “exclusivity” deal for 3 months with Sprint a head scratcher. They are narrowing down their range of potential customers who can purchase their product at the same time they desperately need the masses to buy into their latest offering.

I wish Palm all the best. I have used a Palm device of some sort for some time now and would be saddened to see them become a niche player in the marketplace. Unless Palm can get their house in order with a new version of the Palm OS software, though, their options are disappearing to more innovative and nimble competitors. The Centro may not be enough of an advance to prevent this from happening but it is a good start.


  1. jaded, October 19, 2007:

    I was a palm hater, having used windows PDAs for some time. I have been missing the PDA since I didn’t want to carry 3 devices (ipod, phone, PDA) and this is the first “smartphone” that actually looks to be the size I want. A normal phone size. This is great and palm will find great success with this one! Size matters.

  2. Angelica, October 29, 2007:

    Palm Centro is smaller than the Treo 700 even though the dimensions are nearly the same. Its smooth and rounded and easy to hold. Came across something interesting on Palm Centro at

  3. dmm, December 3, 2007:

    Palm’s exclusivity deal with Sprint is no surprise–they’ve often released Treo models first on Sprint (especially in the fall) and then released them for other carriers three months or so later. Look at the 650 and the 755 as the most obvious examples.

    So, if the same thing happens here, we should see the Centro on other carriers (including GSM, I hope) sometime after January 1st.

  4. DnL, January 19, 2008:

    While I’m looking for PDA information, found this site.
    Thank you for this info. Helpful information for me :)

  5. Steven Burda, MBA, January 24, 2008:

    I’m going to get one of these!

    Steven Burda, MBA
    invite e-mail: burda.mba[at]gmail.com

  6. Geoff Dodd strategies, February 13, 2008:

    The Palm Centro Smartphone is a great competitor for the iPhone and Nokia’s new N81, although it sounds like the Palm keyboard or ‘thumbboard’ is better. I wonder what marketing strategy Palm has adopted for pushing this one out? For example, why are you promoting it? Thanks, GD.

  7. jen, March 24, 2008:

    I just got the centro a few days ago. i absolutely love it! its very easy to use and get used to. the keys are very small but i got used to them quickly. i would totally suggest this for anyone who wants a smartphone but doesn’t want to spend megabucks.

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Leslie Franke:[les-lee fran-key]; 1. Husband and proud dogowner; 2. Seventh-day Adventist; 3. Web Designer; 4. Atlanta Braves Fan; 5. Northeast Ohio Native; 6. Bottle Caps Lover; 7. Certified 'Freakonomic';