Cool Tech Reviews

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October 29, 2005

PDA Sales Continue to Decline


Ed Oswald at BetaNews:

Handheld devices continued to fall out of favor with consumers, according to a report released by market research firm IDC. In the third quarter of 2005, handheld sales fell 8.8 percent compared with last quarter, and 16.9 percent year over year.

Even with the declines, device manufacturers are continuing to release new products, many featuring some type of wireless connectivity. While IDC expects an uptick in sales sequentially from quarter to quarter, sales will likely miss last year’s numbers.

“The combination of tremendous competition from converged mobile devices with waning consumer demand for handhelds is forcing manufacturers to search for new or improved solutions that leverage existing hardware and software capabilities,” wrote Ramon Llamas, research analyst with IDC.

I think of it as “convergence of handheld gadgets” – who wants to carry both a cell phone and a PDA when they can quite reasonably be combined?


Posted at 10:56 am. Filed under Handheld, PDA

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October 12, 2005

“Palm TX: Who Says $299 Won’t Buy a Great PDA?”


That’s the title of the post at Gearlog by David Coursey and his answer is:

No one, actually, and certainly not PC Magazine, which has named the Palm TX it’s Editors’ Choice. This model supersedes the T5–I can’t say replaces since the T5 since it’s such an improvement. The TX, for example, adds Wi-Fi, better memory, a faster processor, and costs $100 less than it’s predecessor. The only knock is relatively short battery life.

Actually, it’s a slower processor and less memory but that doesn’t seem to have impacted performance. More from Sascha Segan’s full review:

With Palm announcing a deal with Microsoft recently, we can’t help wonder if this could be the last Palm OS 5 PDA. If so, the Palm OS is going out with a bang. The terrific Palm TX is the paragon of the Palm PDA, and an excellent all-around handheld that gets our Editors’ Choice.

A long, slim slab that closely resembles Palm’s (actually palmOne at the time) earlier Tungsten T5, the TX has an SD memory card slot, a headphone jack, and a huge, 320-by-480 screen, which is excellent for surfing the Web or reading documents. At $299, it matches the HP iPAQ rx1950′s price tag as the cheapest PDA with built-in Wi-Fi.

The TX’s main weakness is its battery life. At just over 4 hours with Wi-Fi off, it’s almost exactly on a par with Palm’s LifeDrive. Most modern Pocket PCs come in at 5 or 6 hours.

Full details from Palm are here. As a PDA, this seems like quite a bargain. The only question is whether there’s still a market for PDA’s, even with Wi-Fi, in the face of increasing smartphone adoption.


Posted at 1:28 pm. Filed under Companies, Handheld, Mobile Phones, Palm, PDA, Smartphones

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October 5, 2005

Today’s Bizarre Product


Actually, it’s not the product – it’s the pricing. James Kendrick provides the fish, the barrel, and the smoking gun in Cool Macromedia Flash Player for Pocket PC for only … $499!?:

I am sitting here hitting my head against the wall. Literally. In a move that no one on the planet can understand Macromedia has stopped providing the free Flash Player for Pocket PC and replaced it with a paid stand alone program that costs $499. I’m not kidding, they expect Pocket PC owners to pay more for a flash player than they probably paid for their device.

I’ll bet a lot of executive thought went into this one.


Posted at 10:07 pm. Filed under Companies, Handheld, Macromedia, Pocket PC, Thumbs Down

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