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PreCentral: Celebrating ten years of Treo

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Celebrating ten years of Treo

Just a few days ago we were looking back at one year since HP had announced the Veer, Pre3, and TouchPad and marveling at all that had happened in just the preceding 365 days. But webOS Nation reader Tim O'Brien pointed out something pretty crazy that hadn't even occurred to us: this February also marks the ten-year anniversary of the Treo smartphone.

That's right, a full decade ago the world finally got its hands on the first Palm OS-powered smartphone from Handspring in the Treo 180. How state-of-the-art was this smartphone? The Treo 180 had a 2.8" 160x160 16-scale monochromatic resistive touchscreen and a full QWERTY keypad (the 180g had a Graffiti area in its place) over top of a blazingly fast 33MHz Motorola DragonBall VZ MC68VZ328 processor, 16MB of RAM and 4MB of ROM. It was 2.7 inches wide, 4.3 tall, and a slim 0.708 inches thick, and weighed in at a featherweight 5.18 ounces thanks to its steel blue plastic shell. The Treo 180 ran Palm OS 3.5 with deep phone integration thanks to Handspring's VisorPhone software.

While the Treo 180 wasn't the world's first smartphone - that honor technically goes to IBM all the way back in 1992 (Ericsson was the first to market a 'smartphone' with the Symbian-powered R380 in 2000, and Palm teamed up with Kyocera to release the Palm OS-powered 6035) - it and the BlackBerry 5810 released a month later were the devices that really kicked off the idea that a smartphone was more than just a niche product for high-flying CEOs.

So happy tenth birthday, Treo 180. We've come a long way since February 2002, and it's thanks in large part to your pioneering ways.

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