Smartphone-maker Palm unveiled a new flagship Windows Mobile-based device this week called the ‘Treo Pro’ aimed at the enterprise market. The phone uses Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.1 platform and includes Wi-Fi and GPS. It will by launched via Vodafone and O2 in Europe and by Telstra in Australia. However, in the US the phone is expected to be available on any network in a bid – Palm says – to meet the growing demand from enterprises for unlocked phones. But without an operator-subsidy, some analysts believe the US price tag (US$549) may be too high. “Given the pricing and lack of carrier sponsorship in the US, we believe initial sales of the Treo Pro will be limited,” CL King analyst Lawrence Harris told Reuters. However, other analysts were enthusiastic about the new phone and Palm’s efforts to make major design changes. “It’s a positive benchmark… They had real form-factor problems. With this product, they correct those issues,” Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney told Dow Jones Newswires. 

The Treo Palm is seen by some as a response to Research In Motion’s (RIM) new HSPA-enabled BlackBerry Bold, though Brodie Keast, Palm’s senior vice-president of marketing, told Reuters that there was still plenty of growth left in the smartphone market: “90 percent of the market doesn’t have a smartphone. It doesn’t make sense to fight over the 10 percent… We want to reach out to people who don’t have a smartphone, not people who already love RIM.” Keast added that he also did not see the device as a direct competitor to Apple’s iPhone, despite the latest 3G version of the iPhone supporting corporate e-mail.