PDA News – Handspring Losses – New Treo, Kinkos WiFi, Tiny Tablet PCs

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Handspring losses mount, new Treo pushed back to Fall release

For the fiscal third quarter, Handspring posted a loss of $90.4 million. Most of the pain continues to stem from the excessive real estate leases they shed a few months ago. The Treo continues to be the only product being sold by Handspring. They did say the new Treo will be pushed back to the Fall and Orange will carry a new Treo device in Europe. The two devices may or may not be related.

Donna Dubinsky, CEO, made a lengthy statement discussing the present and future of Handspring. Here are the highlights:

“We sold-in approximately 71,000 Treo communicators in the quarter, comparable to last quarter’s shipments. Of this amount, roughly half were the remaining quantities of the Treo 180, the original monochrome GSM Treo. Many of these Treo 180s were sold in bulk to a distributor. With the Treo 180 inventory now depleted, our sales efforts are entirely focused on two current products, the GSM Treo 270 and the CDMA Sprint Treo 300.”

“We estimate that sell-through of Treo communicators was about 39,000 units, giving us a total installed base of Treos around 180,000 units.”

“In this current quarter, our fiscal Q4, we expect a significant drop in our communicator sales, in addition to losing our organizer revenue. As I mentioned earlier, we have seen a slowdown in sales-out over the last month, as the economic environment has worsened. At the same time, we’ve been working with Sprint on our mutual plans for a major new product expected this fall. Given this timing, we’ve determined, along with Sprint, that the right thing to do this quarter is to focus on sales-out rather than incremental sales-in, ensuring that the current channel inventory level is reduced before the introduction of the new product. While we know that this large drop in revenues hurts our short term results, we feel strongly that we must manage the business for the long term. Given that Sprint is our largest customer by far, the impact to the Handspring fourth fiscal quarter will be substantial.”

“I’m delighted to announce to you today that we have signed up our second strategic carrier, the Orange group in Europe, who will carry this next generation Treo. Orange is the #1 network operator in the UK with over 13 million subscribers, the #1 operator in France with over 19 million subscribers, and #2 operator in Switzerland with over one million customers. Including their additional markets and affiliates, the Orange group is one of the leading mobile network operators in the world, with over 44 million customers in 19 countries.”

“The Orange relationship is structured as a Tier 1 carrier, as I described earlier. We’re co-developing a customized version of our product for the Orange network. Local Orange subsidiaries and affiliates will purchase this co-labeled product from us, and resell it to their customers through their channels. Orange has made a significant purchase commitment for the product.”

Get the full text here, or you may listen to all of the details here.


Kinkos has partnered with T-Mobile to provide WiFi Hotspots in all of their stores

Adding the 1,000 Kinkos locations will immediately boost the coverage of the T-Mobile network, taking their Hotspot count up near 3,500.

Kinko’s is known for making technology fast, easy and accessible Our customers count on it. T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi leadership makes them the perfect match as we expand into a new area to meet customer needs, said Dan Connors, senior vice president of corporate strategy for Kinko’s. Thanks to the addition of T-Mobile HotSpot service at Kinko’s locations nationwide, Kinko’s will soon offer a new way for our customers to tap into the power of our own network of locations, experts and business services. Availability of T-Mobile HotSpots at Kinko’s will make it easy for mobile professionals to access their corporate network, check their e-mail and even wirelessly print documents from anywhere inside our stores.

Unlimitted plans go for $30/month for any of the T-Mobile locations, which seems pretty reasonable if you use it. Users may also pay by the minute at .10/each. To sign up visit T-Mobile.


Tiny Tablet PCs might challange PDAs in the near future

News.com has an interesting story about Tablet PCs getting smaller and ultimately challanging PDAs for market share. From the report:

Manufacturers are experimenting with the form and size of tablet PCs, portable computers that let users write on the screen and draw pictures.

Toshiba, for instance, is working on a slate-style tablet design that’s about the size of a large postcard, while Intel researchers have put together what they call the “micro tablet,” a full-fledged PC that is about the size of two credit cards.

Meanwhile, other companies such as Motion Computing are looking in the other direction and aim to bring out tablets with 14-inch screens, two inches larger than the largest ones on the market in the more immediate future.




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