As most pundits tell us this has been the “Year of the iPhone” with reportedly the “Year of the 3G iPhone” just now beginning, it is easy to forget that other operating systems besides the iPhone and it’s arch rival Windows Mobile still exist. For one thing, the best selling phone software by an enormous margin is still Symbian. Think of it as the iPod of phones…market share from here till Christmas. In addition, the company which arguably created the first modern “do it all workhorse” smartphone, Palm, is still in there slugging.
Sure, Palm is being drubbed silly due to the fact it hasn’t released a new OS update since what seems like 1956, but Treos are still a fixture on lots of conference room tables…but according to a recent article on DailyTech, Treos are not what is keeping the company afloat at the moment, nor what actually INCREASED it’s market share by 5 percent this year to 13 percent of the global smartphone market according to IDC as quoted by DailyTech.
The humble 99 buck Centro, the Eee of smartphones, has been the last defense of a former market leader. Since it’s debut in October of last year, more then one million have been sold (making it the fastest seller in Palm history) and the company is expecting to sell 2 million total in 2008.
I think they will make it. The Centro is a great entry level smartphone. Small, cute, Treo style QWERTY keyboard, with just enough bang for the buck and carried bya trifecta of AT&T, Sprint AND Verizon…what’s not to like? Sure it’s old OS, 64MB Internal memory, fashion colors and no WiFi makes this phone an object of scorn for power users…but most of the world isn’t made up of powerusers. The Centro takes advantage of a simple OS, a great screen, a quality keyboard and the vast, unstoppable allure of endless third party Palm apps (Like Apple’s App Store x20) to be the perfect phone for one million people and counting.
Palm is currently focusing all it’s R&D on a make or break new OS slated for debut in 2009. I left the Palm camp for WinMo when I got tired of waiting for the long expected new OS, Cobalt…which ended up as vapourwear. If the operating system finally released next year is as innovative as I know Palm can be, I quite likely will find myself with a new Treo in my future….or maybe a Centro for Power Users. To be honest, it will feel like coming home.