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View Full Version : Sharp to redouble efforts in PDA world

Ed Hansberry
06-24-2002, 06:00 PM
<a href="http://reuters.com/news_article.jhtml;jsessionid=BN5SLW5KDOYDOCRBAE0CFEYKEEATGIWD?type=technologynews&StoryID=1124040">http://reuters.com/news_article.jhtml;jsessionid=BN5SLW5KDOYDOCRBAE0CFEYKEEATGIWD?type=technologynews&StoryID=1124040</a><br /><br />"Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp said on Monday it aimed to bolster its slumping share in Japan's handheld computer market to 20 percent this business year from 10 percent to 20 percent last year, aided by new models. "There was a time when Sharp's (domestic) share was 50 percent, but last year it had fallen very low. This year we must capture a share of around 20 percent," he told reporters after a news conference unveiling a compact PDA for the Japanese market."<br /><br />Uhm... ok. Nearly nothing to 20% in one year. Good luck. They will continue to use Linux as the operating system. I would expect to see a Sony-like deluge of devices. Sony is Sharp's main competitor in Japan in many product lines, PDA's included. "It's important that we put out a lot of new models" said Akira Mitarai, head of the company's communication systems business.

06-24-2002, 07:46 PM
I would like to see Sharp make a Pocket PC Device. I think their Linux model PDAs are superb.

06-24-2002, 08:54 PM
I think they are talking about Japanese market. Sharp used to be very big in Japan.

They also introduce a new SL-A300 a Linux Xscale based PDA with very similar spec as standard PPC. (64Mb/QVGA, etc). Very nice, this could give a more serious competition against PPC as a full feature PDA instead of Palm Inc's weak product.

bunch of conference pics.

press release


The PDA physical size, it's very sleek.

06-26-2002, 10:34 PM
I would like to see Sharp make a Pocket PC Device. I think their Linux model PDAs are superb.

So would I. They made some excellent Windows CE devices in the past -- I still have my Mobilon 4500 (although the screen is cracked, it still works), one of the first color handheld PCs, and they had the Tripad (basically the Clio).


Mark Johnson
07-02-2002, 04:24 PM
I also noticed that the SL-A300 fixes at least one flaw in the SL-5500, they've added at least basic internal audio support:

indicates there is an internal speaker.

The 5500 has a headset/microphone jack on it, but no internal speaker or microphone. You had to carry around a microphone if you wanted to make voice memos. I use that PocketPC feature all the time (especially in my car.) Being able to record a one-touch/one-hand reminder is extremely convenient, so I can't imagine why they left it out of the 5500.

The release doesn't specifically mention an internal microphone, only the speaker. Hopefully it's just an omission in the announcement, not the product.

I think Microsoft NEEDS Sharp (or some other Linux types) to start making some progress in the market. The Palm platform is so feature-anemic that the PocketPC engineers don't even have to break a sweat to thrash it.

PocketPC hasn't really innovated nearly as fast as they used to. We're still using a weak browser (compared to Opera on Linux on the Sharp) and MS just WON'T release a Pocket Access or other database no matter how much we beg.

It's clear that MS wants to be completely sure that the PocketPC never becomes a viable replacement for a notebook or a desktop, only a peripheral to them. Their worst nightmare is that people (students, salesmen, etc.) might have enough functionality in their pocket that they don't need a "full-blown" computer at all. They want to get BOTH the $50 license for the WindowsXP in your Gateway or Dell or Compaq, etc AND ALSO the $15 for the WindowsCE in your iPaq. Since MS intentionally keeps PocketPC weak (think about all the things you could do with your Pentium 200Mhz with Windows 95 that you can't do with your 206Mhz StrongArm) to protect the desktop, we should all be cheering for Sharp and Linux. Even if you prefer Windows to Linux, it's the competition that will keep Microsoft innovating, and Palm still seems to think the world has only 256 colors and that no one needs a web browser at all. It's amazing that Microsoft can even stay awake when this is all the competition they are getting...