Lately, I’ve been facing a series of problems with my Treo smartphone. It’s been well used for a few years now, and its starting to show signs of wear-off. First, its firmware got flushed, and I had to repatch it. Then, its memory got wiped-off mysteriously enough, and I lost my phone-book, all the messages and other settings. Finally, one evening at a pub, I lost the phone’s antenna.
After much frustration with these mis-happenings, I did some lookup on the web for Palm Treo accessory vendors (for a new Treo 600 antenna in particular), and found several references (most seem spammed) to a certain Prompt Infosolutions in New Delhi. I called them up, and they quoted the price of a new antenna to be around Rs. 2500 (USD 62). Somehow, the quoted price for this small non-electronic plastic component didn’t sound quite right. I looked up on eBay, and found a vendor (gsm4world) who was selling new antenna units for USD 1.78 (Rs. 72). That’s roughly 40 times cheaper than what these smartass phonewala’s in Delhi are selling it for. After checking on the shipping charges (from Hong Kong), I placed an order with gsm4world and received a replacement antenna within 10 days. No wonder, China’s stake in hardware and telecom is booming. You name it, and these guys make it.
Next up is a new battery unit.