Palm Inc on Thursday said it will market a version of its Treo smart phone in Europe through Britain's Vodafone Group Plc in hopes of reviving sales hurt by technical issues with a previous model.
Palm said the latest Treo version will operate on Vodafone's high-speed third generation (3G) network and be powered by Microsoft Corp's Windows Mobile operating system.
The said the new Treo is aimed at meeting growing demand for devices that receive email wirelessly, a service perhaps best known by Research In Motion's Blackberry device. Use of so-called "push email" is much smaller in Europe than it is the United States.
"We have been working for some time to reestablish our position in Europe," Palm chief executive Ed Colligan said. "As mobile email has spread to Europe... our timing is excellent."
The handset will be available first to Vodafone customers in multiple European countries, including the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and Netherlands, before the end of the calendar year. Colligan declined to offer any other details about the device.
Palm last month forecast weaker-than-expected results for the current quarter after it stopped shipping its Treo 650 model in Europe because it was not compatible with a new phone technology standard used there.
"We decided not to spin the design of that product and instead decided to focus on delivering this product," he said. "It helps us continue our business in Europe and, we think, to grow it significantly because of our relationship with Vodafone."
Competition in the smart phone market is heating up as rival Motorola Inc started selling its Q earlier this month and Nokia launched the E61 in April.
Shares of Palm slipped 11 cents to $15.10 in afternoon trade on Nasdaq.