PDA News – Gartner says Origami “unlikely to succeed,” Palm stock split, Apple iPhone?

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Gartner: UMPCs not practical, unlikely to sell

Famed IT analysis firm Gartner has weighed in on the new mini-tablet PCs being pushed by Microsoft and Intel, and their verdict is a thumbs down.

Gartner’s conclusion is that the technology to make a truly practical Origami or UMPC device won’t be available for at least two years, and even then they won’t resemble the pocketable all-day devices that Microsoft and Intel have talked about. The devices are too large to be a PDA, too small to be a notebook replacement, so Gartner advises manufacturers to push them as a new class of lifestyle device, rather than try to have them replace anything. From Gartner:

Today, we believe it isn’t possible to produce compelling UMPC products just “proofs of concept.” The low battery life, high price and non-Vista operating system will likely hurt the UMPC’s market acceptance in this first go-round, and the negative backlash could damage its future chances. For these reasons, we question the timing of this launch: Why rush this to market before it is ready to succeed? Despite the promise of this device category, the UMPC as currently conceived will fail to achieve mainstream success defined as unit sales in the millions rather than the thousands by 2009 (0.8 probability).



Palm stock split goes through

The two-for-one stock split announced earlier by Palm officially took effect last week. Starting Wednesday morning, each share became two, valued at half the pre-split price. Palm had earlier said that the split was done to bring their number of shares outstanding into line with other companies of similar revenue.


Analysts: Apple working on iPod phone

It is, apparently, time for the annual Apple PDA rumor again. This time the origin is reportedly two Morgan Stanley analysts, who say that Apple is working on an “iPod with phone functions.” No word on what it’s supposed to look like, do, or anything, nor can we be certain that this isn’t the result of confusion over the iTunes phones on which Apple has cooperated with Motorola. Previously, Apple has stated that they have no intention of getting into the handheld market, although they have shown a tendancy towards feature creep in the iPod line.



Samsung: UMPC to debut maybe in April, maybe never

Continuing our coverage of the collapsing hype surrounding the Origami/UMPC launch, Samsung seems unable to decide whether or not their Q1 device is going to ever be seen in the United States. According to a Samsung representative talking to us on March 9th, the Q1 would be available worldwide, including in the US, Europe, Russia, and Asia. The Q1 would be available some time in April or early May, for about US$1200 to $1500.

A second Samsung representative, in a statement to us just 26 hours later, said that the device was currently only slated for Korea, and Samsung Electronics America was still examining how and whether it would market the devices in the U.S., with no timeframe in sight.



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