PDA News – Golden parachute, New iPaq, Zaurus-style PocketPC?

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Outgoing PalmOne CEO gets $2.4 million payout

PalmOne’s exiting CEO, Todd Bradley, will receive an approximately $2.4 million dollar payment from PalmOne as part of his departure from the company. This practice, known as a ‘golden parachute’, is employed by executives both to prevent their casual firing as well as to provide themselves with a termination bonus.

TheStreet.com article


Report: HP to demonstrate iPaq ‘mobile messenger’ PPC phone

Engadget has received a report stating that HP will demonstrate a new iPAQ Phone at the 3GSM World Congress, which is slated for later this month. According to the report, the ‘iPaq Mobile Messenger’ will feature built-in GSM/GPRS/EDGE mobile voice and data, GPS navigation, a built-in keyboard, and Good Technology’s Blackberry-style Goodlink email software.

Sounds to me like HP’s getting over the flop of the h6315 and it taking another crack at the Treo/Blackberry mobile connectivity market. It will be interesting to see if they’ve learned anything from their first attempt. Such as, try to make the thing smaller than Wisconsin. It’ll likewise be interesting to see if their new move puts any fire into Dell to compete against the Treo and the new iPaq.



Hitachi to push Zaurus style PocketPC?

Hitachi is releasing a new PocketPC in Japan that imitates the slide-away keyboard made famous by the Sharp Zaurus line. In addition to the keyboard, the new model features a 400 MHz PXA255 XScale processor, 4.0 inch VGA screen, WiFi, Bluetooth, SD and CF slots, 128 MB of RAM, and 64 MB of ROM.

The only real question mark here is availability. At the moment, there’s no information about when and if the new Hitachi will make it outside of Japan. Hitachi has previously had some unhappy experiences in the U.S. PocketPC market–most notably their G1000 PPC phone/slab, which after attempting to pass as a mobile communications device eventually took up a career as a Stonehenge impersonator.



IDC sales numbers for handheld market

Research firm IDC is out with their numbers for handheld sales in the fourth quarter of 2004. Bear in mind, these numbers may be slightly skewed. According to IDC, their definition of handheld devices includes the following:

Handheld devices do not include telephony but may include wireless capabilities that enable Internet access and text communication. These devices feature evolved operating systems or applications environments such as the Palm OS, Windows Mobile Pocket PC, Linux, or other proprietary platforms with the ability to download, run applications, and store user data beyond their required PIM capabilities.

This would appear to exclude the Treo and all PocketPC phones. That said, on to the numbers.

Rank Name Q3 04 Sales Q4 04 Sales Q4 Market share
1 PalmOne 736,481 1,174,371 42.0%
2 HP 615,515 769,170 27.5%
3 Dell 188,200 196,572 7.0%
4 Medion 15,000 115,000 4.1%
5 Mio 54,172 87,407 3.1%

PalmOne and HP are each bound to get a spike, particularly PalmOne, because of holiday retail sales. Not so much for Dell, because they don’t have a retail presence. I’m impressed by the surge in PalmOne’s sales–I would have figured that they needed the Treos to go over a million.

Also, with the fourth-quarter numbers in, we can now compare the full years 2003 and 2004.

Rank Name 2003 Sales 2004 Sales 2004 Market share
1 PalmOne 4,035,125 3,645,399 39.6%
2 HP 2,286,052 2,492,539 27.1%
3 Dell 584,511 695,171 7.6%
4 Sony 1,402,044 418,832 4.6%
5 Medion 198,505 234,325 2.5%

What’s most interesting is that if you factor in sales for the Treos, all of the big three had better sales this year than last. This would seem to fly in the face of the ‘handhelds are dead’ rhetoric popular among pundits.



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