Last night, I was at Palm's launch party in New York City for the new Palm Centro (thanks Paul) and was intrigued by it. Not simply because it was a new, shiny toy - a $99 smartphone for the "hip set", but because of the possibilities it could have for remote access.
Yes, this blog is still about political technology and how you can use technology to improve your chances of winning. So, why would the introduction of a $99 smartphone help you win?
Consider the fact that most "political operatives" have Blackberries (known as "Crackberries") and their own version of the treo (in 2004, I remember it was the hot thing to be seen chatting on your treo 600 and getting your email). Most of the senior staff have the Blackberry connection, but how about the rest of the staff? At the salaries they are being paid (or not), they were never going to be included in the information flow that existed at a higher level.
The Centro is one of the first entrants in the sub-smartphone market - or better said, the phone that other people (like your recent college grad or local volunteer coordinator) could purchase and get up to speed to be fully connected. The phone is easy to handle, clear and bright screen, and has all of the "kit" that the more expensive 755p treo has, with half the memory, but all of the buzz. It has a hardened shell and two attractive colors (I assume the after-market for phone kit will be available from treocentral).
Is it worth the purchase? That will be entirely up to you. I think it is a rreasonable entrant in the market, though not as sexy as the iPhone or business clean as the treo 755p. But, in terms of general staff use, well worth the $99 a pop.
Full disclosure: I am going to be testing out the Centro in the coming week on my network, after keeping my trusty 650 for the past three years. I will give you more, real-time experience feedback then.
Tags: Palm Centro