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New Palm Phone Coming Soon?

A new Palm-powered 3G Treo smartphone could be available as early as next month, according to industry insiders.

Farpoint Group analyst Craig Mathias says that the new devices, which could be the first using the Palm OS to run over faster CDMA EV-DO networks, should be on the market this quarter.

"Rumor is that it will be available shortly," says Mathias.

What are said to be pictures of the PalmOne Inc. (Nasdaq: PLMO) Treo 700p have already been posted on some of gadget blogs -- although there's debate about whether the photographs are real or a clever Photoshop job. The pictures seem to indicate that the handset would be sold through Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S).

Palm has not returned Unstrung's calls for comment on the new device.

This year, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based manufacturer has already released its first-ever Treo running Windows Mobile operating system -- the 700w. This EV-DO device is sold by Verizon Wireless -- which would make the release of a new 700-branded device a little surprising. (See CES: The Microsoft Palm .)

Palm faces increased competition in the smartphone market for business users and high-end consumers this year from the likes of Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) with its upcoming Q device. (See CES: Moto's Slim RIM Killer?) BlackBerry is still the vendor to beat in the North American market with a market share of around 23 percent, compared to Palm's 18 percent. (See RIM Picks Intel for Blackberry.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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