Donna Dubinsky, President and CEO of Handspring

This is a transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, October 15, 2001.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: And a big day for Handspring, up more than 26 percent. It's unveiling Treo — I hope I'm pronouncing that right — its newest handheld computer that comes with a built-in cell phone. The device is now available in Europe, will hit the U.S. market early next year, expected to sell for about $400.

Joining us now from Mountain View, California is Donna Dubinsky. Donna is the president and CEO of Handspring.

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Donna, good to you back.


CAVUTO: Now this is what? Combining a phone in like a Palm kind of standard device in one, right?

DUBINSKY: Yes, the product is called Treo, because it's three things in one. It's a phone, it's an organizer, like a handheld, and it does wireless data, whether that's Internet access or e-mail or short messages.

CAVUTO: Well, whoopdee-doo, I get that now. You know, Samsung, Kyocera make similar devices. So what's the big deal?

DUBINSKY: Well, we think this one is a little bit different. First of all, we think it's a form factor that really gets over the hurdle of something that you'd carry with you all the time.

CAVUTO: Well, hold that up for a second. How big is this?

DUBINSKY: You know, It's about the size of a wallet or maybe a little bit bigger than a deck of cards. It's really a pretty compact size.

CAVUTO: Yeah, but look at the keyboard on that. It looks like Chiclets. I mean, how...

DUBINSKY: You open it up -- yeah, when you open it up, you've got a full alpha-numeric keyboard, which a lot of people really prefer, both for messaging as well as for one-handed dialing of the phone. You can dial a name and get a phone number. Press in this little jog/rocker button, and you immediately dial somebody out of, you know, an address book of thousands of names.

CAVUTO: Are you worried, though, that with all the neat little innovations here that this is a little late to the party? We're talking what? Sometime 2002, mid-2002 if not later for a color version when the likes of Samsung and all already have color versions.

DUBINSKY: Their products are pretty substantially different than this one, I think, if you look at them and see their form factor and the functionality that they include. This has full Web browsing. This has, you know, a whole lot of capability.

CAVUTO: Well, so do they.

DUBINSKY: It'll be shipping just after the 1st of the year, and the people who have looked closely at the product see some substantial differences between them.

CAVUTO: But you're going to need more than substantial differences, right? You're going to need a blow-away product. I'm not taking anything away from what this offers, but when others offer comparable features months ahead of you that ain't good for you, is it?

DUBINSKY: Well, I think we'll let the product stand for itself when it actually ships, but we do think there are some big differences. And we're a patient group. You know, we've been innovating in this market and we're going to continue to innovate it. And I think that that will be showing up with the product.

CAVUTO: What if we've missed what is the Palm standard? That, you know, your stock has suffered, Palm has suffered, that maybe that standard is being eclipsed by the Pocket PC and some of these others that are really now encroaching on your turf?

DUBINSKY: Well, you know, we're really thrilled to be able to bring this new product to market on the Palm OS, and that means it's compatible with tens of thousands of applications. It brings over all of your data right away. And it's given us all of the robustness that we needed to produce what we think is a breakthrough device.

CAVUTO: OK, Donna Dubinsky, thank you. Very good having you on.

DUBINSKY: Thank you.

CAVUTO: Donna is the founder and CEO of Handspring in Mountain View, California.

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