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Verizon calls on big customers with Treo 600

Verizon Wireless sells PalmOne's new smart phone to large business in prelude to wider consumer release.

Verizon Wireless has begun offering its large business accounts PalmOne's combination cell phone and organizer device, the Treo 600.

Verizon Wireless and PalmOne representatives confirmed Tuesday that Treo 600s had gone on sale the day before, but a date or price for widespread retail and online sales of the devices has not been set. However, a Verizon Wireless spokeswoman said the Treo 600 would be available to consumers later this month.

PalmOne representatives added that the company has shipped devices to Verizon Wireless, but would not say how many.

Verizon Wireless is the leading cellular network operator in the United States, with 38 million subscribers, and is a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone. It's also the latest major cellular carrier to sell the Treo 600.

Others include AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless, Sprint PCS and T-Mobile, which are selling the Treo 600 for as low as $449 with cellular service activation and rebates, according to the PalmOne Web site.

Using the Treo 600, owners can send and receive e-mail, surf the Web and make phone calls. The device has a color screen and a keyboard.

An industrywide shortage of a display component has led to unit constraints of the Treo 600, but PalmOne said during its most recent earnings call that it has found another supplier of the component.