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View Full Version : Dynamics in having many Pocket PC makers


Andy Sjostrom
04-27-2002, 11:56 AM
<a href="http://www.pdaavenue.com/cgi-bin/news/viewnews.cgi?category=6&id=1019350020">http://www.pdaavenue.com/cgi-bin/news/viewnews.cgi?category=6&id=1019350020</a><br /><br />Andrew sent us this link to an article titled: <b>"Does Pocket PC Owe It's Success to The iPaq?"</b> The author, Marcus Bankuti, discusses whether or not the Pocket PC owes its success to the iPAQ Pocket PC. His conclusion is: "The iPaq was not challenged much because of mind share. If Compaq did not make the iPaq, another company would have made one like it. Current iPaq users would have still bought Pocket PC, but they just bought the iPaq because it was their favorite."<br /><br />His article contains several interesting thoughts, and I agree with most of them. I really don't follow the bottom line, though. It's too easy to say that "If Compaq did not make the iPaq, another company would have made one like it.". At that time most analysts had already moved on, away from Windows CE based PDAs, recommending other platforms and announcing Windows CE dead. Not many companies could have done what Compaq did, in my opinion.<br /><br />But the more interesting topic, in my opinion, is the dynamics the Pocket PC / Windows CE platform enjoys in having many makers. Throughout the last years we have seen one maker having the lead during one period of time and another maker during the next. Take the Casio E-105 for example. Without the Casio E-105 sales, the total sales of Windows CE devices would be peanuts. Literally, that is.<br /><br />I have included some of the Windows CE based PDAs that have meant a great deal for the current state of the Pocket PC platform in the picture below. The question mark represent the pondering of which will be the next torch bearer. Two questions to you:<br />1. Which signifcant Windows CE devices have I forgotten in the picture, if any?<br />2. What maker will replace the question mark with its Pocket PC?<br /><br /><img src="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/pdas.jpg" />

rodkar
04-27-2002, 12:48 PM
Let me add my voice by sharing with you a letter that I have written back in January: http://techupdate.zdnet.com/techupdate/stories/main/0,14179,2839138,00.html. I think the success of the current PPC platform lies on its transformation from being an OS that was supporting 3 different processors (please correct me if I am wrong) to focusing on just 1 processor. This standardization is bound to lead to economy of scale in terms of both the development of software and hardware. As more and more manufacturers enter the market, the more competitive pressure will be created to drive further excellence in product development. I think this platform still has way to go. Having said that, I must say Sony has scored a very big point in product design with its new NR70V. It is really a shame that Sony has chosen Palm over PPC. And I really think the current Palm OS (even with a beefed up 66MHZ dragon ball) cannot bring out the full potential of NR70V. If only other Japanese PPC manufacturers will copy the NR70V.

Andy Sjostrom
04-27-2002, 12:55 PM
I definately agree. Going to one processor, instead of three was a major milestone. Add to that a totally revamped user interface that actually makes sense, and we're off to a good start in this discussion!

rodkar
04-27-2002, 12:59 PM
And the number of new models that have been announced since January just make the future looks even brighter. The Loox, the XScale Toshiba and the new Jornada you just reported earlier. How exciting!

Paragon
04-27-2002, 02:51 PM
I doubt we will see any big changes in the line up. Sure we will see some new players come on line, but I think it will be tough for any one device to distinguish it's self above the others the way the Ipaq did.

While the standardizing of the Pocket PC has been good for the platform, I think it has been at a price. They all come with close to the same software package, and can run the same software. They are all very similar in size, shape, and even button layout. They all use the same processor. Most use the same screen. The biggest difference being in the type of expantion slots, and as SD matures that will become standard on most, as it almost is now. It has become very difficult to stand out in the crowd.

I wonder if after wireless devices settle in we may see things level off for a while. I'm sure we will continue to see faster and more efficient processors ect.. But, in basic functionality there is only so much we need or want our devices to do, and we may be almost there. If we look at Palms past success it was based on functionality. It did what the vast majority of people needed and wanted, for the price they were willing to pay. No more no less. I'm not sure that there is much left for anyone to add to a device that would propel it into the lead. Not that I'm will to pay for at least. I'm not sure I'm willing to pay the extra cost of say... having my PPC start my car for me as I walk up to it, as an example. That's not to say there aren't lots of innovative things that can't be done with the platform, it's just how much more are the masses will to pay for it. To be the new leader in the field, the device is going to have to appeal to a great many people, at a justifiable price. That will be very hard to do given the present cost of Pocket PCs. They are approaching the limits of what most people will spend on such a device.

Ya I know in a few months I will look back on this and laugh... to think I was dumb enough to think there was nothing else I was willing to pay for in Pocket PC.... What was I thinking??????

Dave

ppcsurfr
04-27-2002, 04:05 PM
Well, the HP Jornada 430 SE or the EVEREX isn't in your photos.

Anyway, I too do not believe that if Compaq didn't make the iPAQ someone would have.

Here is my reason. At that time, Windows CE support was dwindling to the top three Hardware Manufacturers... HP, Compaq and Casio. Casio stuck to their old hardware, same processor. HP went a bit better with a new look, form factor but still the same old processor... Compaq on the other hand was brave enough to break new ground implementing a StrongARM based device with expansion sleeves. If Compaq had not gone this way, Windows CE would have either died or would have been stunted in it's Jornada 54x/Cassiopeia EM-500/E115/E125 state.

By breaking new ground... Compaq has opened the eyes of the developers... both software and hardware to push the technology to the limit. So here we are... seeking more power, more functionality and eventually a pocketable replacement to our laptops.

But you have to look at it this way too. I was a Win CE Palm-size PC user who used to use MIPS... I shifted to SH3 because I liked the form factor of the Jornada 548... and I felt that having an SH3 device would also allow me to use my old applications which were offered in both SH3 and MIPs versions. Well, it was okay for the first few months until everyone started making applications that ran better with the StrongARM... thus gaining so much popularity. Having the iPAQ as the King of the PDAs by being the first most powerful pen-entry pocketable device... other manufacturers soon followed in its footsteps... @migo, Toshiba, etc. Now, with the success of the iPAQ, plus the success of the StrongARM processor... MS finally decided that it will no longer support SH3 and MIPS... well, in a way it is good. Since the SH3 and MIPS processors lack the power or some security related functions, it seems like it is the right direction... Even Palm is moving towards ARM processors... so there you have my 2 cents.

GregWard
04-27-2002, 04:52 PM
Surely both hypotheses have some value? PPC did appear to be "on the wane" just before iPaq but there WAS still a lot of potential interest so - one could say - there was a "sweet spot" for Compaq (or anyone else) to launch a "killer device".
But I don't see why it follows that if Compaq HADN'T launched iPaq somebody else would have launched an equivalent. They might have - then again they might not and PPC could have failed! This was, after all, what many pudits seemed to be predicting at the time.
As for the question mark - I'm pretty sure it will be a "connected" device - of some sort - and I think a fully integrated device - ie as opposed to an"add-on" sleeve etc. Maybe the XDA? OK - their delivery is way behind their initial claims but then that's exactly happened with the iPaq!

brownzilla
04-27-2002, 05:13 PM
i dont think i agree with yourpicture. The new jornada didnt effect the ppc industry as much as the old one did. The old one was the one that sold large numbers to big companies and helped get the PPC word out there. Also, the maestro phone doesnt really deserve a place in there since it hasnt even made it out yet. Id replace that with a regular maestro/genio because that was the one that came out to remind people that the sizes for their new models were just getting too big. :twisted:

Duncan
04-27-2002, 08:10 PM
The future sees the truly high quality IT companies entering the fray - as opposed to the populist cram everything we can into a box cheap and cheerful approach of Casio, HP and Compaq.

Toshiba and Fujitsu-Siemens. Names that drip with excellence! They will produce the machines that replace your '?' (though I still wonder what Toshiba were thinking of with the two latest models).

marcusbankuti
04-27-2002, 08:55 PM
Thank you for posting this link.

I didn't expect many to agree with me when I stated someone else would have, but perhaps I should have changed that summarization. I said the pocket pc os was meant to be in a multimedia device like that, and think about it, if the ipaq wasn't made, would you have bought a pocket pc 2000 device. Perhaps an HP 548. I know that it is no 206 MHz processor but it would have been enough for you if the 150 was the highest available. The hp doesn't have a bad form IMO.

This was also mentioned in my article, about the same amount as the "someone else would have". I still think they would have, although they maybe wouldn't have done it as well. I basically explained I felt someone else would successfully tackle the consumer entertainment market, but then I summarized that someone else would have made a very ipaq like device. Perhaps I will change the article a bit.

Thanks again for the publicity, and the feedback!

Ed Hansberry
04-27-2002, 09:08 PM
I think the iPAQ was a major factor in the PPC success. How many PDA's sold for 200% of retail on ebay before the iPAQ? How many devices had reflective screens that you could see color outside? How many devices had a 206MHz processor? How many devices packed all of that into a very sexy container? How many devices allowed you to expand the device with Compact Flash 1 & 2, or PCMCIA, or dual PCMCIA?

Zero.

If it hadn't have been for the iPAQ, I would have still purchased a Pocket PC, but In know many that wouldn't have. And I know that lots of enterprises would have passed on them until a device came out with the speed and versatility the iPAQ offered.

Think it is a coincidence that the basic Pocket PC 2002 specs were based on the iPAQ? I think not.

IMHO, the success of the Pocket PC was three factors.
1. The totally revamped Pocket PC UI. Very cool, very usable and included powerful apps like Excel and Word.
2. The iPAQ. What more needs to be said.
3. The MS Mobility group taking this thing to the masses with user group tours, the 2001 Mobility Tour, the publicity that PocketPC.com offered, the newsgroup support, etc.

Without any of the above three, the Pocket PC would have been much less of a success. Without #2 though, it woudn't have been much more than a modest continuation of the Palm-sized PC.

marlof
04-27-2002, 09:09 PM
Velo 1 (or 500) :)

Paragon
04-27-2002, 09:37 PM
IMHO, the success of the Pocket PC was three factors.
1. The totally revamped Pocket PC UI. Very cool, very usable and included powerful apps like Excel and Word.
2. The iPAQ. What more needs to be said.
3. The MS Mobility group taking this thing to the masses with user group tours, the 2001 Mobility Tour, the publicity that PocketPC.com offered, the newsgroup support, etc.

Without any of the above three, the Pocket PC would have been much less of a success. Without #2 though, it woudn't have been much more than a modest continuation of the Palm-sized PC.



Geeeez Ed, are you saying the Jornada 540s and the Casios are more of a Palm sized PC than they are Pocket PCs? They both have internal expantion slots, and most Casio people will tell you they had a much better screen. The Ipaq came along with a faster processor, but I don't think they will ever be credited with being responsable for it. I don't know what backroom dealing perhaps went on to keep Compaq in the supply chain for the ARM processor and everyone else out. Maybe if the others had the opportunity to get their hands on them earlier, maybe the map would look a little different today. Who knows for sure.

Myself I think that PPCs would have gotten hear or beyond without the Ipaq.... and it's very cumbersome sleeve dependence. I don't mean that to sound like Compaqs sleeves didn't spawn some very innovative things to happen, they did. I think a good many of them would have happened anyway, and may be CF and SD I/O hardware would be much further along if they had not been stalled by Compaqs PC sleeves.

I loved my Ipaq right up til I UPgraded to the HP567 :-)

My humble opinion.

Dave

Ed Hansberry
04-27-2002, 10:05 PM
Geeeez Ed, are you saying the Jornada 540s and the Casios are more of a Palm sized PC than they are Pocket PCs?

No, not at all. I meant in terms of the MS PDA success. The iPAQ caused a Pocket PC explosion in 2001 once they were available in quantity.

And HP and Casio had no intentions of getting their hands on the StrongARM. HP has an investment in a factory that makes SHx processors and Casio has a vested interest in MIPS processors. The StrongARM was not the cause of the iPAQ delay. It was the screen and the undercapacity. Compaq thought it was being aggressive with a 10,000 iPAQ's per month production run, well ahead of what the Compaq Aero sold. Little did they know they were going to understate the demand by a factor of 10. :-)

marcusbankuti
04-27-2002, 10:14 PM
Geeeez Ed, are you saying the Jornada 540s and the Casios are more of a Palm sized PC than they are Pocket PCs?

No, not at all. I meant in terms of the MS PDA success. The iPAQ caused a Pocket PC explosion in 2001 once they were available in quantity.

And HP and Casio had no intentions of getting their hands on the StrongARM. HP has an investment in a factory that makes SHx processors and Casio has a vested interest in MIPS processors. The StrongARM was not the cause of the iPAQ delay. It was the screen and the undercapacity. Compaq thought it was being aggressive with a 10,000 iPAQ's per month production run, well ahead of what the Compaq Aero sold. Little did they know they were going to understate the demand by a factor of 10. :-)
Perhaps the fact Pocket PC sales rose so much due to the ipaq launch was the fact people knew it was coming?

Paragon
04-27-2002, 10:16 PM
Ya, you are right Ed. I remember the statement about them forcasting sales of 10,000 a month, and couldn't get the screens, dusty or not :D fast enough.

My point thugh was, that the only (arguably) big difference was the faster processor, and it would have come anyway.

Dave

Hey, I just noticed something. I'm now a ponderer.... ya.. I'm a ponderer, round and.......

marcusbankuti
04-27-2002, 10:19 PM
I think the iPAQ was a major factor in the PPC success. How many PDA's sold for 200% of retail on ebay before the iPAQ? How many devices had reflective screens that you could see color outside? How many devices had a 206MHz processor? How many devices packed all of that into a very sexy container? How many devices allowed you to expand the device with Compact Flash 1 & 2, or PCMCIA, or dual PCMCIA?

Zero.

If it hadn't have been for the iPAQ, I would have still purchased a Pocket PC, but In know many that wouldn't have. And I know that lots of enterprises would have passed on them until a device came out with the speed and versatility the iPAQ offered.

Think it is a coincidence that the basic Pocket PC 2002 specs were based on the iPAQ? I think not.

IMHO, the success of the Pocket PC was three factors.
1. The totally revamped Pocket PC UI. Very cool, very usable and included powerful apps like Excel and Word.
2. The iPAQ. What more needs to be said.
3. The MS Mobility group taking this thing to the masses with user group tours, the 2001 Mobility Tour, the publicity that PocketPC.com offered, the newsgroup support, etc.

Without any of the above three, the Pocket PC would have been much less of a success. Without #2 though, it woudn't have been much more than a modest continuation of the Palm-sized PC.
I agree with most of that post but I think enterprise users would have used the hp 548 if they did not know ipaq existed. The 133 MHz might not be much when you consider iPaq specs, but if there was no ipaq, there would be 17 Mhz difference from the lead processor. I think that the hp's form is more professional as well.

Second, I think most people who bought iPaq over Palm because of form would have strongly considered the hp 548, it has a nice form to, and if the 206 MHz was not out, it's 133 would not sound bad at all...

Remember, in my article, I reminded that I didn't think iPaq was non-revolutionary. It was. I just think that it is not the reason for the OS success, I think the HP 548 would have taken over most sales, which would take market share off by 1 or 2%, but nothing serious.

marcusbankuti
04-27-2002, 11:07 PM
I just edited my conclusion. It now reads: The iPaq was not challenged much because of mind share. If Compaq did not make the iPaq, another company would have made a different device to successfully tackle the same market. Current iPaq users would have still bought Pocket PC, but they just bought the iPaq because it was their favorite.

I think it is better now. It now states that I didn't think "another ipaq" so to speak was made, but says that I think someone else would have taken the Consumer Entertainment market.

Just a small change, but it represents my views better.

IpaqMan2
04-28-2002, 12:49 AM
I have to agree with opinions posted by PPCThoughts. If Compaq hadn't invented the Ipaq, I doubt anyone would have done so, at least not at that time. Casio, HP, and others seemed to be very content with their models running all under 150 mhz. It was the shear CPU speed that led me to even consider the WinCE or the PPC Platform again. I had owned several WinCE devices in the past and was very disappointed at how slow they were at just pulling up PIM stuff when I needed them. When the Ipaq came around I had moved to a Palm OS device, because of it's speed with the basic PIM stuff. And I'll say it again, it was the speed of the CPU that allowed me to even consider going back to WinCE/PPC. And when I finally did make the move I was not disappointed one bit.

Look how long it took all the other manufactures to move to the 206 Mhz. I really don't think they would of if it weren't for the success of the Ipaq.

One thing though I have to say about having alot of manufactures making PPCs now. I never thought I'd ever say this, but lately I have been Yawning alot at all the new PPCs comming (that's not running the Xscale processor) They all seem to have the same specs as the Ipaq. Been there, Done that..So now what's new? I do admire Palm since they do allow diversity with their designs of PDAs, (like the new Sony). Different screen resolutions, different PDA designs. Hopefully MS will allow PPCs to do the same.. just as long as it wasn't like they did with the different CPUs needing different compilations of the programs, which I belived hurt more than it helped the PPC growth.

marcusbankuti
04-28-2002, 01:50 AM
Once again, I never said the iPaq wasn't revolutionary - it was.

I just said that if there were no 151 MHz+ Pocket PC 2002 devices, most would current ppc 2000 ipaq users would be content with the 133 MHz HP 548.

I own an iPaq, but would have bought the HP 548 if the iPaq was never made. I prefer the HP 548 form, but bought the iPaq because of speed and compatibility. If I didn't know of any 206 MHz processor, I would have been fine with 133 MHz sh3 processor.

Scott R
04-28-2002, 02:12 AM
Here are my opinions on the reasons for the initial success of PPC and the iPaq in particular:
- Device sizes improved somewhat (in case of iPaq - greatly) as compared to prior MS Palm-sized PCs.
- All devices seemed significantly faster compared to Palm-sized PCs due to slimming down and optimization by MS. Again, in the case of the iPaq, speed increase was even better.
- MS getting in bed with the community, hyping the advanced features, and convincing the press that even average users were no longer content with basic PIM features (i.e. - the war of words).
- Giving away free development tools - big enterprise win (I wonder how many programmers who convinced their bosses to by a slew of PPCs based on this are now "pursuing other opportunities"?).
- The iPaq - smaller, prettier, faster. And, the Compaq name behind it.

As a happy Palm user, I bought a PPC for the following reasons:
- Loved the idea of getting eVB and leveraging my VB experience to write commercial apps in a wide-open market.
- Higher-res color.
- gee-whiz features (advanced sound, multimedia potential, etc.).
- Graffiti-clone (since I was actually quite happy with Graffiti, thank you very much).
- Other things I'm probably forgetting.

After much research I was between the E125 and the iPaq. Overall, I liked the Casio better but the iPaq was faster and, more importantly, had Flash ROM. After seeing how Casio and HP basically jilted all their Palm-sized PC customers while Compaq offered true ROM upgrades, I felt much safer putting my faith in them offering some sort of upgrade the next time MS upgraded the OS. I was right.

Scott

Scott R
04-28-2002, 02:18 AM
Whoops, I left out the bottom line.

IMO, the credit for the initial success of the PPC should be shared by MS and Compaq. If MS didn't make the changes they made to speed up and somewhat simplify the OS, an iPaq running the Palm-sized PC OS would not have resulted in the success that the platform has had the last couple of years. OTOH, while a large number of geeks and an unknown number of average folk would have bought HP 548's and Casio's had Compaq not released the iPaq, I think that total sales of PPCs would have been much smaller.

Scott

IpaqMan2
04-28-2002, 02:41 AM
Once again, I never said the iPaq wasn't revolutionary - it was.

I just said that if there were no 151 MHz+ Pocket PC 2002 devices, most would current ppc 2000 ipaq users would be content with the 133 MHz HP 548.

I own an iPaq, but would have bought the HP 548 if the iPaq was never made. I prefer the HP 548 form, but bought the iPaq because of speed and compatibility. If I didn't know of any 206 MHz processor, I would have been fine with 133 MHz sh3 processor.


I had a Hitachi HPC running CE 2.0 and I think the CPU was about 130mhz.. I loved the device.. but still had lag time when pulling up the basic PIM stuff.. Based on that i would'nt of looked at the HP for a second.
Casio.....Maybe...Since I really liked it's formfactor for the day.. but I wanted something that did more than"just get by". I wanted something that kicked butt and had enough speed to last. Seeing all the PPCs that have been, I say the Ipaq has been and still is. It's the only PPC that still holds up and keeps it's pace even after all the other manufactures made huge upgrades. If you had a 3650 and bought it when it first came out, iyou can still rock with the best of them, but not so with Casio and HP.

tonyv
04-28-2002, 02:43 AM
I bought a first generation handheld PC from NEC and got burned -- the b&w screen sucked, NEC charged an arm and a leg for a ROM upgrade, and Microsoft screwed any developers that ponied up the money for the development kit by making it almost immediately obsolete!

These problems were all addressed at roughly the same point by Compaq and Microsoft, and I think these are factors that really helped the PocketPC to take off.

1. The iPAQ had a great color screen that you could see in all lighting conditions.
2. The iPAQ had had an upgradable ROM.
3. Microsoft released the development platform for free, resulting in LOTS of software.

As for what I'd like to see in the future (other than the obvious things like built-in connectivity, speed, and power), are support for a pressure sensitive stylus (just think of the great drawing apps you could write!) and better support for a keyboard (it is just brain-dead that there is no ALT key access to program menus).

Paragon
04-28-2002, 03:00 AM
After reading all the posts and thinking back to when I switched from Palm to Pocket PC, I'm convinced that it was Microsoft that pushed things around the corner. I hesitated for 2-3 months on buying a PPC when they first came out, because I did not want to buy a device that I was not going to get software for. I was very hesitant til I saw that software was becoming available for PPC. Coming from the software rich enviroment of Palm was hard to do no matter how 'cute' the Ipaq was. So I think Microsofts decision to really get behind this O/S make it easier for software developers to get on side this time was very significant.

What good would a 1gig Ipaq have been if you did not have any software to run on it?

Dave

Will T Smith
04-28-2002, 05:50 AM
Someone else would have zeroed in on the concept.

The iPaq was a synthesis of concepts from other vendors combined with a faster processor and a reflective color screen. The expansion pack concept was cool, but poorly executed.

The availability of StrongARM and the relflective TFT made for an obvious choice in development.

Compaq was first. However, without them, someone else would surely have produced a similar device.


In the next year, Compaq will have to fight to retain market share. The iPaq defined PocketPC practicality but has since been outdone by HP, Toshiba, NEC, AND Casio. It's jacket system has the most support, however ANY jacket (including the venerable Silver Slider) adds significant bulk to the stock iPaq.

The recently introduced Toshiba e310 should serve as a model for "host concept" devices. That is, devices that are meant to be plugged in as the brains for multi-functional modules.

DrtyBlvd
04-28-2002, 11:38 AM
:P Who cares?

They are all much of a muchness anyway!

The reason the Ipaq is so popular is the fact that it has what might be called 'oooooooo' factor - it LOOKS good.

All the others are little (relatively), rectangular, 'buttons at the bottom', 'screens' - hardly innovative?

Whoppee Doo!

Toshiba announce this...
So and so announce that...

...none of the new stuff is any different to the old!

I mean really, what difference is worthy of note?

None of them GPRS with Ease.
None of them Bluetooth with ease.
None of them efficiently service a GSM/PDA role
None of them are super-dooper fast (Wheres the Gig pda then huh? THAT would be worth looking at)

In short - NONE of them have any true USP's to offer the consumer - it's all a question of budget and style - like everything else that might be called an emerging market. (Mike Dell's comments?)

Hardware? Nothing new I fear for a while. Certainly nothing ground-breaking anyway. What will/would the Ipaq2 look like I wonder? Or will our continual re-engineering of existing ideas come to the fore again? So it will look the same but with a quicker processor?

:?: The question mark should be replaced with Linux maybe - or Mac. That would be a true change! (Maybe not for the better, but you know what I mean!)

I am a confirmed 'wastrel' of money through the purchasing of the latest and the best, whatever - and I am finding, strangely, that I am very happy with my 125 at the moment. That's not a good sign.

I fear for the future.

Ed Hansberry
04-29-2002, 03:19 AM
Once again, I never said the iPaq wasn't revolutionary - it was.

I just said that if there were no 151 MHz+ Pocket PC 2002 devices, most would current ppc 2000 ipaq users would be content with the 133 MHz HP 548.

I own an iPaq, but would have bought the HP 548 if the iPaq was never made. I prefer the HP 548 form, but bought the iPaq because of speed and compatibility. If I didn't know of any 206 MHz processor, I would have been fine with 133 MHz sh3 processor.

I disagree. I liked the 548, but it was dreadfully slow in many areas. I agree with Scott R on this one (2nd time in 12 months eh Scott? :wink: :lol: ) MS and CPQ share the success. iPAQ with Palm-Sized PC OS would have been mediocre. Pocket PC without 206MHz-instant-do-it-now-processor, expansion cards galore, sleek size, first PPC device under 7 oz (54x and Casio E series all 9oz and above) and yes, the cool look, the Pocket PC would have had a marketshare just a bit north of the Palm-sized offerings. The PPC market would not be anywhere close to where it is now with the 54x/e1x5 lines picking up the slack. Not even close I'm afraid. it was the one-two punch that did it. Just like it was the one-two punch of the PalmOS and the original Pilot back in 1996 that did it for PDA's in general. That PalmOS on a large slow device would have been dreadful. A glorified Casio BOSS on that Pilot would have been equally dreadful. It takes the right OS with the right device - both extremely critical in a device that is meant to be with you most of the time.

Now that the PPC 2002 devices all have the important iPAQ specs in their arsenal, it is much more of an even playing field, and all the better for the Pocket PC world in general. That is what is important. :)

Tari Akpodiete
04-29-2002, 06:38 AM
18 months ago, when i decided to go pocket pc, i bought a Casio, after much scrutiny.

i felt that a screen displaying 65 000 colours was better than one that only displayed 4096 colours. i didn't care about outside because i simply shaded my screen. no biggie for me, but for some people, this is not acceptable. i also chose built-in ability for expansion over having to spend 50 to 200 bucks more (in Canada) just to be able to load a microdrive or a CF card.

also, for me, the greater speed of an iPaq, at the time, simply didn't make up for what i consider to be a major design flaw - the lack of a back up battery. if you don't get back to your charger in time, you're screwed. and when one uses a microdrive in a sleeve, we're talking a major power suck, especially with the original 340 meg, so the odds of losing data are even higher.

frankly, i am still shocked/surprised that Compaq didn't include a backup battery with the new generation. and speaking of batteries, why does one have to send an ipaq back to the factory to get its main battery replaced?

in terms of prettiness, well it is true the Casio e1xx series was thicker and heavier than the iPaq. for some that's a negative. for me, i think of it as being more sturdier. in terms of style, the iPaq lead the field in when it comes to beauty. it sure is pretty to look at but looks and speed aren't everything. for me, reliability was critical. kind of like in cars.

of course now that the playing field is equal in terms of speed, accessories are going to be where the game will be won. Jornadas have some interesting accessories, but they need to improve their slot situation although i see that they have a 'sled' coming to hold pc cards, so that's cool. Casio is already doing ok with their built-in slots. most disappointing is the drop in visual quality of the screens on pocket pc models. if only there was some way to have a screen as good as the original Casio that could also be read outside.

i am getting mighty tired of all these really cool sleeves, not because some of them aren't great because they are and also innovative, but because they are pricey and seem a bit short sighted as to who can use them. do even ipaqers want to shell out for multiple sleeves? it gets costly and bulky to carry all these around. sometimes it seems that you need a laptop bag just to carry around your multiple sleeves.

it would be better to have a collection of CF/PC cards or even MMC or SD cards with a variety of functionalities (kind of, ahem, like Handspring modules) that can be used interchangeably with different pocket pcs, winCE devices such as HPCs and even the coming tablet pcs. all one would need would the right driver. for example, make them like that Margi system - http://www.margi.com - device for presentations that can be put into any slot.

Ed Hansberry
04-29-2002, 12:27 PM
also, for me, the greater speed of an iPaq, at the time, simply didn't make up for what i consider to be a major design flaw - the lack of a back up battery. if you don't get back to your charger in time, you're screwed. and when one uses a microdrive in a sleeve, we're talking a major power suck, especially with the original 340 meg, so the odds of losing data are even higher.

Sigh....

The iPAQ does not need a separate backup battery. It has an emergency reserve in its onboard battery so when the charge level gets low enough, the iPAQ shuts down with enough juice to preserve the data allowing you 36 (3100/3600) to 72 (3700/3800) hrs to find a charger.

The devices with removable batteries need a separate battery to give power to the device so that when you remove the main battery, you don't lose all of your data. Because they have this backup system, they don't need the type of system the iPAQ has.

Now, you can argue that it is your preference to have replacable batteries, which is convenient but adds to the size and expense of a device. Totally valid though if you actually own a 2nd battery. Most that throw out this argument never spend the $50-$80 for that 2nd battery though.

However, to continually bring up this totally misguided notion about the iPAQ's not having a backup battery got old about 3 weeks after the iPAQ came out. It was a flawed argument then and is flawed now.

Paragon
04-29-2002, 01:35 PM
[




Now, you can argue that it is your preference to have replacable batteries, which is convenient but adds to the size and expense of a device. Totally valid though if you actually own a 2nd battery. Most that throw out this argument never spend the $50-$80 for that 2nd battery though.

However, to continually bring up this totally misguided notion about the iPAQ's not having a backup battery got old about 3 weeks after the iPAQ came out. It was a flawed argument then and is flawed now.


Ed I'm quite sure that by the time someone buys a battery extender, good batteries, and a battery charger they have spent close to what the extra batteyr costs. Not to mention the bulk of caring all that around. And I can't see where my HP 567 with it's removable battery (and internal CF card) is bulkier than an Ipaq. Unless I'm misguided :D

I don't think the argument is flawed in the least. The removable battery is one of the main reasons many of us bought Jornadas.

Dave

Scott R
04-29-2002, 01:54 PM
Ed, I think you misunderstood Tari's post. When she said "backup battery", I believe she was implying "another full size battery that I can plug in there and continue to use my PPC full-throttle" (i.e. - a swappable battery). When you talk about the iPaq's "backup battery" you're talking about a little backup which prevents the memory contents from being lost when the full size battery dies. You're still stuck having to stick your PPC in a charger for a couple of hours (or however long it takes) before you can start using it again. Also, I thought those original Casio PPCs had a little watch-sized "backup battery" (for preventing memory loss) as well, no?

Tari, the reason (in case you didn't already know - which you probably do) for manufacturers not designing their devices to use replaceable batteries is that building in the batteries allows them to make the devices smaller. In the case of the original PPC, this was a difficult dilemma. Due to the hardware requirements of a PPC, it was guaranteed to suck battery power. With the coming of Xscale, I have a feeling that no one will be using replaceable batteries and will instead focus on making them small but with ample battery life. The exceptions will be devices which incorporate built-in wireless which, again, sucks major battery life. Those will need (IMO) swappable batteries.

Scott

Ed Hansberry
04-29-2002, 03:14 PM
Ed I'm quite sure that by the time someone buys a battery extender, good batteries, and a battery charger they have spent close to what the extra batteyr costs. Not to mention the bulk of caring all that around. And I can't see where my HP 567 with it's removable battery (and internal CF card) is bulkier than an Ipaq. Unless I'm misguided :D

I don't think the argument is flawed in the least. The removable battery is one of the main reasons many of us bought Jornadas.

Well, I purchased a battery extender for my iPAQ that cost $22 and uses 4 AA's.

However, the usefulness of a replaceable battery is not what I was arguing was flawed. It is that the lack of a separate coin sized backup battery in the iPAQ is a flawed argument. It isn't necessary given the way the iPAQ (and Jornada 54x series and Toshiba/Audiovox lines, Palm M5xx lines, M125, Vx, etc.) work. These devices all have backup power reserves.

Ed Hansberry
04-29-2002, 03:19 PM
Ed, I think you misunderstood Tari's post. When she said "backup battery", I believe she was implying "another full size battery that I can plug in there and continue to use my PPC full-throttle" (i.e. - a swappable battery). When you talk about the iPaq's "backup battery" you're talking about a little backup which prevents the memory contents from being lost when the full size battery dies. You're still stuck having to stick your PPC in a charger for a couple of hours (or however long it takes) before you can start using it again. Also, I thought those original Casio PPCs had a little watch-sized "backup battery" (for preventing memory loss) as well, no?
She said "also, for me, the greater speed of an iPaq, at the time, simply didn't make up for what i consider to be a major design flaw - the lack of a back up battery. if you don't get back to your charger in time, you're screwed" which to me indicated just that - the backup battery, not a replaceable battery.

The Casio E-200 and HP 56x series do have that little coin sized backup battery. They require it since their main battery is removable. PDA's with permenant power sources like the J54x, Toshiba Genio, iPAQ, etc. do not need the coin sized battery.

And I think you are correct, X-Scale could go a loooooooong way in improving Pocket PC Battery life. :-)

04-29-2002, 04:14 PM
I think you may have forgotten the @migo 600-C by UR There (Palmax).

adamz
04-29-2002, 07:59 PM
I can't really tell what that first greyscale PDA there is, but it's not the Uniden Uni-Pro PC100. The PC100 was the most advanced palm-sized PC at the time. It came with a folding cradle, built-in 33.6 modem, built-in compact flash slot, as well as all the regular Windows CE 2.x things and not much added bulk (compared to the other Win CE devices at the time).

Tari Akpodiete
04-29-2002, 09:13 PM
okay fellas, let me put it another way: i have a 128 meg CF card, a 340 meg microdrive and a one gig microdrive. i'd love to get a one gig CF card, but the prices are scary. anyway, on the microdrives, i run mp3s and a lot of videos, so we're talking big power drain. when my batteries have run down, i have NEVER lost data with a Casio or a Jornada, but i have ALWAYS lost data with an iPAQ.

Paragon
04-29-2002, 09:21 PM
Tari

I think the idea is your supposed to stop using the Ipaq when you get the low battery warnings. :)

Dave

Ed Hansberry
04-29-2002, 09:30 PM
okay fellas, let me put it another way: i have a 128 meg CF card, a 340 meg microdrive and a one gig microdrive. i'd love to get a one gig CF card, but the prices are scary. anyway, on the microdrives, i run mp3s and a lot of videos, so we're talking big power drain. when my batteries have run down, i have NEVER lost data with a Casio or a Jornada, but i have ALWAYS lost data with an iPAQ.

The Microdrive is a killer. You still shouldn't lose data as long as you charge the iPAQ within 24-36 hrs of it shutting off. I have run mine down to that level several times in the past 2 years and never lost anything.

Now, my EM-500 is a different story. :cry:

Kathy_Harris
04-30-2002, 12:59 AM
I'm totally mean with my ipaq. I've had the microdive (1 gig) since it came out and ALWAYS run the thing down until it won't turn on.

Never a problem. Just charge it up (I know I'm not supposed to run it down but it just happens :) )

Don't Panic!
04-30-2002, 02:07 AM
Ok on the backup battery issue, but the E-125 screen, no one can still argue about the superiority of that indoors. I have to agree with Tari.

Don't Panic!
Bobby

Jason Dunn
05-06-2002, 06:28 PM
Great discussion! Sorry I missed it. I'll add my two cents:

1) The iPAQ hardware was revolutionary compared to the other Pocket PCs on the market at the time - no question. It had a "sex appeal" that wowed the media, which up until that point was very ho-hum on the Jornada 54x and Casio 12x. Would someone else have come along and done it if Compaq hadn't? Possibly, but it wouldn't have come around for a lot longer - remember that there were only three major consumer OEMs for the Pocket PC launch. Everyone else had dropped off the chart because the Palm-size PC wasn't successful. Compaq stuck around after having the worst-selling Palm-size PC of the major OEMs, and they STILL had the guts to push the hardware envelope - I have tremendousrespect for them for doing so. They could have walked away like Phillips, Everex, and the others.

2) The HP approach to battery life is vastly superior to the iPAQ. Even with the bigger battery on the 3870, the battery life is still iffy - and like Ed says, many people (myself included) don't have a spare battery, but the ABILITY to do so is very important to me.