680
figure 1: The Orange Treo 680 is what I used before I got an iPhone. This and a featurephone, actually, for when I wanted to take a non-useless picture of something. I used both AT&T and T-Mobile.

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p>Let me put on my Carnac the Magnificent hat and guess that you were on T-Mobile too. There's an interesting survey report done by the NPD group recently that caught my eye, specifically because it names Treos. I still have love for Treos, but I'm off the wagon in terms of using one regularly at least until their Linux OS ships. But here are the fact nuggets that they report:

  • iPhone owners were 10 times more likely to have owned a Treo
  • iPhone owners were 3 times more likely to use a T-Mobile phone, such as the Sidekick
  • iPhone owners were 3 times more likely to switch from T-Mobile or Alltel
  • iPhone owners were no more likely to buy an iPhone if they had a Blackberry

They don't break down the numbers for you much in the press release, but as always these reports are meant to be bought and sold by industry analysts and stock market guys and stuff. I'd like to believe that they have a breakdown of PalmOS and Windows Mobile in there, but they don't specify in their press release. The only quote nugget is from NPD's Director of Industry Analysis Ross Rubin:

"The iPhone’s Internet and media capabilities have resonated with consumers -- especially those who previously owned Treos and Sidekicks. Its advanced operating system makes it competitive with smartphones for many tasks, while its sleek design and lack of expandability is reminiscent of fashion phones"

Speaking personally, I had a devil of a time with getting media on the Treo. It's just not convenient to use it to consume media at all. You need the special headphones, you need to drag your files into which directory on the SD card again, or worse, you use Palm Desktop to do it. My loathing for Palm Desktop and Palm Conduits really knows no bounds. Even with the iSync conduits, it was still a pain. Oh, and my loathing for Blazer -- that knows no bounds too. I wrestled with Java to get Opera Mini installed, juggled my 4-5 SD cards, trying to remember what was on which one, etc. I wanted to like Windows Mobile, but missed the screen resolution and couldn't cope with the interface. Syncing on the iPhone is quick, easy, and seems to take much less time than anything on Palm Desktop would ever do.