Fossil Takes the Wrist PDA Back to the Drawing Board

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Fossil has decided to give up on its original design for a Palm powered Wrist PDA and is working on a new model.

The company announced the device at Comdex in 2002 and it was originally scheduled to be in stores at the end of June 2003. However, the release was pushed back steadily until, in September, Fossil announced the device was indefinitely delayed. It even made Wired magazine’s Vaporware 2003 list.

Earlier, Fossil would only say it was having production problems. However, it told InfoWorld this week that the company that was chosen to supply the 1-inch LCDs couldn’t meet Fossil’s quality requirements. This delayed the product until Fossil decided to give up on it and create a new version of its handheld-in-a-watch.

A company spokesperson wasn’t willing to give InfoWorld any details about the next generation of Wrist PDA, but he did reveal that it will still run a full version of the Palm OS and be more powerful that the original version, thus making it more competitive with regular handhelds. The now-cancelled version would have run Palm OS 4.1 on a 33 MHz Motorola Dragonball VZ processor and have 2 MB of RAM.

The next-generation model will also be less expensive. The prices for the various versions of original Wrist PDA ranged from $275 to $295.

Fossil expects the improved version to be available this summer.

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