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The Sad Truth About Handheld And Pocket PC's

John Ottini | Handheld PC Software Reviews
15 October 2005

Here is a radical thought that one hardly ever hears mentioned within the H/PC Community. The reason Handheld PC 's failed is probably the same reason Pocket PC's are slowly failing - most people are indifferent towards them! Unlike Televisions, Mobile Phones and Desktop PC's, people don't regard H/PC or P/PC as a necessity...something they can't live without. For every person who goes gaga over seeing my HP 720 or MP 900, there are at least 10 people who couldn't care less about them. Until that number reverse's itself, H/PC & P/PC will only be marginal products. Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be?

The Value of H/PC's is subjective!

Maybe we are overestimating the value of these products, after all it's easy to get caught up in this stuff when we are constantly dealing with people (on these websites) that agree with us! People have no trouble forking over thousands of dollars on big screen HD TV's, but $800 USD for a Jornada 720 or MP 900 is unthinkable, overpriced, ridiculous! Why?

I don't know about the city or town you live in, but in my area Pocket PC's have almost disappeared from all the big box, computer and electronics stores, such a Best Buys, Circuit City, CompUSA etc...... no matter what you think of these outlets , this does not bode well for the sales of P/PC's. Even Pocket PC Magazine which you would think, should be expanding by leaps and bounds (to match the supposed success of P/PC's) is just struggling to survive.... their main income is from subscriptions and not advertising (as it should be). What does that say about the product they are peddling?

What does this all mean?

Perhaps, it wouldn't have mattered whether the H/PC was sold at $500 (instead of $800) or marketed towards 'average Joe's' rather than businesses, maybe it's not the type of product that will ever appeal to the masses? Does that mean H/PC's are of no value? Of course not.....but we must be prepared to face the fact that they may always be just a niche product.

What will the Future Bring?

Hopefully, someone like HP, NEC or Dell can find satisfaction in creating a product that will sell well in limited quantities.....we can only hope that this happens but there are no guarantees. In the meantime Pocket PC's are being morphed into Cell phones, garage door openers, TV remotes etc…. whatever it takes to try to make the product appalling to the masses. Will the Swiss Army Pocket PC be a success … I doubt it, but we have to give them an E for effort.

Now that I've rambled on and probably irked a lot of folks out there, I'll just crawl back into my cave and sit quietly while you tear apart my theory on why the Handheld PC has failed.

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Tags | Editorial OpEd