BSQUARE Leaving the Handheld Market

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BSQUARE Corporation has announced that it has ceased manufacturing its cellular-wireless handheld.

The Power Handheld is a GSM/GPRS device that runs Windows CE. It has a VGA screen and a pull-out keyboard. It has been available in limited quantities in the U.K. market.

The majority of BSQUARE’s business is providing consulting services and software for wireless device makers. By offering its own device, it had run into situations where it was competing against its best customers.

“There is clearly a market opportunity for converged devices, however, we sold a relatively small number of units and the ongoing investment didn’t make sense at the expense of our core business,” said Brian Crowley, president and CEO of BSQUARE.

BSQUARE looking into either spinning the division that made the Power Handheld off as an independent company, or selling it to another company, but couldn’t make either option work.

It will retain the intellectual property incorporated in the Power Handheld. “In our development efforts on behalf of smart device makers and ourselves, BSQUARE has created valuable radio interface layer, user interface, power management and information management software that smart device makers have licensed or expressed an interest in licensing for integration into Microsoft Windows CE and Windows Mobile-based handheld devices. We are making focused investments in productizing these technologies,” commented Mr. Crowley. “We are retaining all the capabilities necessary to help bring smart devices to market; we just won’t be bringing the devices to market ourselves.”

As a result of this action, the jobs of a majority of the Power Handheld personnel were terminated with the remainder reassigned into product development initiatives or retained to provide ongoing support for the Power Handheld device.

BSQUARE will continue to provide warranty support for devices previously sold.

More about the Power Handheld

square Power Handheld reference design The Power Handheld has a 4-inch VGA screen and a pull-out keyboard. It runs Windows CE .NET on a 400 MHz Intel XScale processor.

One version offers 128 MB of RAM, 64 MB of flash memory, and 32 MB of internal storage. A second offers 64 MB of RAM, 32 MB of flash memory, and 10 MB of internal storage.

It comes with integrated GSM/GPRS. It also has an SD memory card slot that supports SDIO, which allows it to use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networking cards.

It has a 1900 mAh battery that can keep it going for 120 hours in standby, four hours of talking, or three hours of wirelessly accessing the Internet.

This device is 5.5 inches wide, 3.4 inches wide, and .76 inches thick (140mm x 87 mm x 19.5 mm) with its keyboard retracted. It weighs 10.2 ounces (290g).

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