HP to introduce mid-range iPaq

Hewlett-Packard Co. plans to take on Palm Inc. with a smaller and cheaper version of its iPaq handheld computer in time for the holiday season, an executive said on Wednesday.

Written by Reuters for PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence.


Here is further evidence of the commoditisation to which PMN referred in its 30/09/2002 article ‘ViewSonic announces Pocket PC‘. Falling component prices and recognition of renewed demand for value handhelds is prompting all of the PDA majors to examine opportunities in the low- and mid-range market.

HP, following its acquisition of the Compaq iPaq business, has the scale to compete effectively in this market. However, the days when it could sell half as many handhelds as Palm and still report higher revenues due to its high margin product line are numbered.

The introduction of the first Palm OS 5 products this month (Sony has already announced, Palm is poised to) will help address the feature imbalance with Pocket PC devices. Initially, however, all Palm OS 5 devices will be sold at pricepoints in excess of USD 400. Further budget introductions by Pocket PC OEMs could see the Palm OS losing market as older OS 4 models become less competitive on price and feature comparisons.

Originally published by PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence, the subscription-based analysis and insight platform founded by Marek Pawlowski.

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