Buyers of Dell’s X3i Pocket PC have noted there is a Bluetooth logo imprinted on the antenna. We now know why this is the case and have information regarding the next iteration of the X3.
This issue recently popped up in our forums as people have begun playing with their new X3i’s, the latest Axim unit that features integrated WiFi. Many users realized upon looking closely at the WiFi antenna, it revealed the Bluetooth logo. This is of course odd as Bluetooth hardware and software are not included with the X3i. So, there’s no hardware, not software, but there is a logo, hmmmm…
Here’s what happened. Dell initially planned on including both WiFi and Bluetooth in the high end X3. The beta product surely went through various rounds of testing and ultimately got to consumer groups. The end result is that WiFi seemed to meet most of the needs users identified. While Bluetooth was a nice to have, it must not have been perceived to add as much value as it would have cost to include. The end result is an X3i that got so far along in the testing process that the Bluetooth logo was added, even though the hardware was removed. It’s not clear if future X3i’s will feature an antenna without the Bluetooth logo once the initial supply runs out.
Going forward though, Dell plans to leverage Bluetooth technology. Our sources indicate that by mid-2004 they will release an X3 model that will likely feature both integrated WiFi and Bluetooth. It’s premature to speculate on features and pricing, but this product is a logical expansion on a very popular form factor. I don’t expect a wealth of information about the new unit to appear until the FCC publishes its documentation in the spring, but we’ll hope for information leaks before then!