Compaq may return to color-only handhelds
By Ian Fried
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
August 15, 2001, 10:30 a.m. PT
As Compaq Computer considers moving to color screens only for its iPaq handhelds, prices for its black-and-white line have reached new lows.
With the monochrome iPaq H3135 selling for $149–including a $50 rebate–at Amazon, CompUSA and Circuit City, the handhelds are breaking into new price territory for devices running Microsoft’s Pocket PC operating system. The model once sold for around twice as much.
However, Compaq said the current black-and-white handhelds may be its last.
Compaq spokeswoman Nora Hahn told CNET News.com that demand is strongest for the color models.
“We’re evaluating it,” Hahn said Wednesday. “It’s looking more and more like color is the future. Once you’ve seen the color (models), it’s kind of hard to go back to black and white.”
Compaq introduced the black-and-white 3100 series in January as a way to reach more customers and meet demand amid a shortage of parts, including color screens.
Even if Compaq chooses an all-color future, the monochrome models won’t become orphans. Like its color brethren, the units are upgradeable to the next version of the Pocket PC operating system, which is code-named Merlin and due out later this year.
Separately, Compaq announced on Wednesday two promotions for its color H3600 series.
Customers who buy any H3600 series model by Sept. 30 receive for free a Compact Flash expansion sleeve, a case and an upgrade to a two-year warranty.
The company is also selling a bundle that includes the H3650, a Sierra Wireless networking card, expansion sleeve and two-year warranty for $849, a savings of $263 from the cost of the items purchased separately.