New Palm OS Treo ready for takeoff

Palm OS-based version of the 700w is set to be announced Monday, CNET has learned.

The Palm OS is about to get into the fast lane.

A little more than four months after Palm released the Windows Mobile-based Treo 700w on Verizon Wireless' EV-DO (Evolution Data Optimized) network, it is set to announce a Palm OS version that can connect to EV-DO networks, CNET has learned. The company on Monday will unveil the new model, which is expected to be called the 700p, according to sources familiar with its plans.

A Palm representative declined to comment for this story.

Palm enthusiast sites about the 700p ever since Palm broke with tradition and chose Windows Mobile for the 700w smart phone, which was released in January. At the time, Palm CEO Ed Colligan made it clear that the company planned to continue releasing versions of the Treo based on Palm OS. The 700p will be the first Palm OS-based update to the Treo lineup since the release of the Treo 650 in October 2004.

EV-DO networks are available from both Verizon and Sprint in the U.S. They allow mobile phone users to download data at speeds between 400Kbps (kilobits per second) and 700Kbps, significantly faster than older wireless networks.

It's not clear whether Verizon or Sprint will be the initial carrier of the 700p, but Verizon was the launch partner for the 700w. It's also not clear when the devices will become available, although various postings on Palm enthusiast sites point toward a late-May introduction.

The 700p is not expected to look all that different from the 700w, except for the operating system. Some mobile-application developers have bemoaned the lack of a Palm OS-based Treo on a fast wireless network such as EV-DO and have embraced the Windows operating system for some new multimedia applications.