I know this is a software platform rather than one specific hardware vendor, but to me all Windows Mobile smartphones are kind of like the Borg in Star Trek: lacking individuality, kind of all the same, part of a larger collective effort to overwhelm the competition more on sheer numbers rather than with uniqueness or elegance.
Upside: A very recognized brand, and many vendors with deep pockets (not to mention Microsoft) ensure that this arm of the competition will be around for a long time. As the market for smart phones continues to grow, undoubtedly so will the number of Windows Mobile devices in use.
Downside: With an operating system that many find aggravating to use, these devices will be outflanked by the BlackBerry in the enterprise segment and Apple in the consumer market.
Overall outlook: Solid but not exciting.
Upside: The Treo brand still has value in the market place and the company remains on a relatively firm financial standing. The addition of some former Apple execs may bring some new life.
Downside: No new OS or hardware redesign in years, one wonders how much longer Palm will remain relevant. Surveys show that Treo owners are particularly likely to convert to the iPhone.
Overall outlook: Fading but not gone just yet; the key will be new products introduced at the end of this year and into next year.
The smart phone market is one that is both lucrative and growing, and so all competitors have an opportunity to realize significant profits. However, it will be very interesting to see how the market divides itself up in the future. The only sure thing is that consumers will be the winner from all of this competition.