Last year, JVC announced it was going to release its first Pocket PCs, but changed its mind at the last minute. As recently as this spring, the company said it was still considering the idea of releasing a handheld.
Now, however, Terry Shea, JVC’s General Manager, Corporate Communications, has told Brighthand that his company’s plans to enter the Pocket PC market have been “postponed indefinitely.”
Mr. Shea went on to say, “That does not mean that we have decided not to market one at some time. However, we have no firm plans at this time to introduce a PDA.”
A Bit of History
JVC announced, but did not release, its first Pocket PC models on the day Windows Mobile 2003 debuted. These were going to have an audio and video player and other features to make them ideal portable multimedia devices. The company said in October 2003 that, because of component problems, its first generation of handhelds would not be released.
However, Mr. Shea said at the time that his company would still enter the Pocket PC market. Its plan was to release what would have been its second generation of handhelds in the first half of this year. Obviously, this plan has been dropped.
Not Just JVC
Coincidentally enough, JVC wasn’t the only company to announce plans to enter the Pocket PC market, then later change its mind before releasing any handhelds.
In the summer of 2003, Gateway also announced its intentions to release a Pocket PC. But after some delays, the release of this product was eventually dropped. Although the company said in January that it was still considering entering the handheld market, it seems unlikely this will happen anytime soon.
Fewer Players in the Market
It isn’t just companies that never released any handhelds that are pulling out of the market.
This summer, Sony announced it was going to stop offering handhelds anywhere but Japan, its home country. Just last month, Toshiba said it was giving up on the U.S. handheld market. And earlier this week, Sharp has said it will offer no more handhelds in the United States.
Handheld sales were up slightly in the first half of this year, but the market has been consolidating around three major players: palmOne, HP, and RIM.
Thanks to infoSync for the tip.