HP Confirms Mid-Range and High-End iPAQ Plans

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According to a story on CNet’s News.com, Hewlett Packard will release two new iPAQs before the holiday shopping season. Rumors of these models have been circulating among Pocket PC enthusiast websites for several months.

One of these, rumored to be called the iPAQ 2200, will be a mid-range model that will cost between $200 and $400. It will be thinner and smaller than current iPAQ Models but still offer a color screen and a Secure Digital card slot.

The mid-range of the Pocket PC market has suddenly become crowded, with several companies announcing models that cost less than $400 and several more expected to soon, including PC giant Dell. Earlier this week, ViewSonic announced that it would release its sub-$300 V35 Pocket PC on November 1.

New iPaq HP is also planning to release a high-end iPAQ, rumored to be part of its new 5000 series, with built-in 802.11 and Bluetooth wireless networking. Targeted to corporate users, the iPAQ 5000 will include an integrated fingerprint scanner as a security measure, important to businesses worried about company secrets being stored on easily stolen handhelds. This model will cost between $400 and $650, according to HP’s director of marketing, Cindy Box. Ms. Box also confirmed to CNet that HP will eventually release a model with support for GPRS wireless networks.

The company is holding its HP Technical Symposium in St. Louis next week. It may that opportunity to announce these.

Word of these models surfaced in May, when Brighthand first revealed HP’s plans for both of these. Of course, at that time HP wouldn’t confirm the information, but with the release dates getting closer it has clearly decided the time for secrecy is over.

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