Palm's Treo falls foul of European pollution law

Palm has stopped shipping the Palm 650 to Europe because it doesn't comply with new hazardous waste regulations.

Palm has stopped shipping its latest smart phone to Europe because the devices don't comply with new European Union regulations that limit the acceptable amount of hazardous substances in electronics goods.

Palm stopped shipping the Treo 650 smart phone to Europe after June 30 to meet the requirements of the so-called RoHS Directive, said Andy Brown, Palm's chief financial officer, during a conference call last week to discuss the company's financial results. The directive went into effect Saturday.

The company decided nine months ago that it wouldn't update the product to meet the regulations. "We felt like the product was long in its lifecycle and to make that change at this point did not make sense," said Ed Colligan, Palm's president and chief executive officer.

Palm expects to ship a new smart phone to Europe later this year, Brown said. In the meantime, European operators that offer the Treo 650 have a stock of the devices to continue selling. The Treo 650 is the only Palm smart phone available in Europe.

The RoHS Directive was created by the European Union in an effort to reduce hazardous waste from electrical goods. RoHS stands for "the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment." Local organizations in each country are responsible for enforcing the directive.

Palm's strategy puzzled some analysts. The shipments are being stopped just as the Treo 650 is picking up momentum after promotions from Orange and O2, said Geoff Blaber, an analyst for IDC. At the same time, Palm recently decided to make two other new products, the 700w and the 700p, available only in North America.

"They chose to target North America, where the Palm [operating system] is strong, as opposed to really making Europe a priority, a region where they're really struggling," he said.

BlackBerrys and Symbian-based smart phones are currently more popular in Europe than Palm devices, and a potential lag between when the stock of Treo 650s runs out and the new product appears on the shelves won't work in Palm's favor. "The Palm OS has been struggling in Europe so an absence of Palm devices is not likely to help that cause," Blaber said.

Palm, however, says that it is just beginning its push into Europe in earnest. It recently opened an engineering facility in Dublin and is starting to better support the needs of European carriers and customers, Colligan said.

The directive is online at http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/pri/en/oj/dat/2003/l_037/l_03720030213en00190023.pdf

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?