First Square Screen Pocket PC Coming Soon?

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When Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition was unveiled this spring, its support for VGA displays and screen rotation got much of the attention. However, one of the lesser-known features is apparently about to be used in an upcoming device.

According to, one of the big software retailers has sent a message to developers that says,

    [deleted] is preparing a special marketing program for applications that support the new square screen Pocket PC. Are your Pocket PC applications screen orientation aware? If so, please send a quick email to [deleted] with your company name and a list of your screen orientation aware Pocket PC applications.

While it is clear that a square-screen Pocket PC is on the horizon, this isn’t enough to say what the actual screen resolution will be. Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition supports both 240-by-240-pixel and 480-by-480-pixel screens.

Why a Square Screen?

Considering Pocket PCs have used oblong screens since their inception, some might wonder about the need for a square screen.

Microsoft added this new arrangement to make including built-in keyboards easier.

Take the iPAQ h4355 as an example of what a Pocket PC with an oblong screen and a keyboard looks like. Although many bought this model for its built-in keyboard, others passed the h4355 by because it was so much larger than the competition (see picture at left).

If, instead, the h4355’s screen had been square, this model wouldn’t have been that much bigger than rival models.

Unfortunately, there is currently no information on who is making the first Pocket PC with a square screen, or when it will be announced. The next most likely time is at the CES tradeshow in early January.

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