With absolutely no fanfare, Dell has stopped offering the Axim X51 series. This means the company has discontinued the last of its much applauded Pocket PCs.
The X51 series still appears on the company's U.S. web site, but this is most likely a temporary oversight. There's no way to order the devices online, and a call to Dell's sales staff confirmed that the Axim line is no longer available.
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A Brief History of the Axim
A few years ago, Dell entered the handheld market and immediately shook it up. Its Axim series of Pocket PCs offered cutting edge features at prices well below its competition's.
The company kept up a steady stream of new devices until the fall of 2005, when the Axim X51 series came out. Since that time, Dell has not released a new model. It did, however, continue to offer its most recent line of devices, and the Axim X51v is still regarded by many as the best traditional Pocket PC ever made, even this long after its debut.
However, anyone wanting to buy this device now will have to look somewhere other than Dell.
Hope for the Future?
Whether the end of production for the X51 series marks the end of the Axim is something no one outside of Dell can say with certainty... and no one at Dell is talking.
Update: A Dell spokesperson told CNET News.com today, "The Axim X51 family is no longer being offered, and we have no plans for a follow-on product at this time."
Nevertheless, there have been many rumors and unconfirmed reports that Dell is working on a additional devices. Whether these will be traditional handhelds or smartphones depends on the rumor.
Probably the best evidence that there will be more Axim models comes from market-research firm IDC, who reported a few months ago that Dell is "developing the Axim X51 platform with faster processors and more memory."
Thanks to Robrecht and Curious Cat for the tips.
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