What’s Next for the iPAQ?

by Reads (14,632)

Jornada’s journey is nearly over, but what direction will the popular iPAQ line of Pocket PCs take over the next 18 months?

Think you know?

Well, here are ten questions about the future of the iPAQ to test your skill at forecasting the future.

1. HP will cut the iPAQ Pocket PC line down to one model and concentrate its resources on the Tablet PC. True or False?

FALSE. The iPAQ Pocket PC product line has proven to be profitable and is aligned with the future of pervasive computing. If anything, the iPAQ line will grow and we’ll see additional models targeted to specific demographics and industries.

2. HP will discontinue the 3600, 3700 AND 3800 series by the end of the year. True or False?

TRUE. Although HP has made it clear that the 3600 and 3700 series will be discontinued this year, it will also discontinue the 3800 series by year end as well. Question 7 reveals why.

3. HP will release an iPAQ Pocket PC with a VGA display sometime next year. True or False?

TRUE. The next iPAQ Models to be released (again, see question 7) will have improved displays, but VGA screens (and, believe it or not, even higher resolution) on PDAs are not that far away. Heck, Sony makes the iPAQ’s screen and it’s at 320×480 with its new NR70 series.

4. HP will rename the line HPAQ. True or False?

FALSE. You all knew that. 🙂 [Editor’s Update: But HP did decide to drop the Compaq name from the device.]

5. HP will match Toshiba’s e310 with a thin model of its own, the iPAQ 2200 Pocket PC. It will retail for under $300. True or False?

TRUE. Toshiba is certainly putting the pressure on HP to advance its exisiting design. However, the problem for HP is the iPAQ’s Expansion Pack technology. To make a radical departure from the existing iPAQ design, HP must make the tough decision to not support current sleeves. The 2200 will be the first iPAQ to do that. [Editor’s Update: It’s now known that this is the iPAQ 1900 series.]

6. HP will release its long-awaited Linux-based handheld device under the Jornada brand name this summer in hopes of attracting the back to school crowd. True or False?

FALSE. It’s a shame that the Jornada X25 Linux-based handheld never made it to the market. The HP group that developed it in Australia is gone, and soon the Jornada group in Singapore will be history too. What a shame.

7. Within the next 3 months, HP will release two new XScale iPAQs, the 3935 and 3970, that will be nearly identical to the 3800 series. True or False?

TRUE. Externally you won’t be able to tell much difference between the upcoming 3900 series devices and the 3800 series they’ll replace (except the new HP logo), but when you turn it on you will. They’ll have XScale processors running at 400MHz and improved color screens, and their Secure Digital slots will finally support SDIO. What’s the difference between the 3935 (or the 3950) and the 3970? The 3970 will have integrated Bluetooth. When will these devices be announced? Very soon we’re told.

8. HP will try to blow away the competition with a new XScale-based 5000 series iPAQ. New features will include biometric security, a removable lithium polymer battery, and integrated wireless, including GSM, GPRS and CDMA models. True or False?

TRUE. Look for a wireless PDA that includes the features of the shelved Jornada 920 sometime in the August timeframe. What’s this about biometric security? Sources tell us that there’ll be a fingerprint pad under the directional pad in one of the upcoming 5000 series models.

9. HP will attempt once again to bring a monochrome iPAQ to the market. True or False?

FALSE. A couple of years back, when Compaq couldn’t produce enough color iPAQs due to an LCD shortage, it released the monochrome 3100 series in Europe, hoping to appease anxious consumers. It seemed to work in Europe so Compaq decided to try it in the U.S. Bad move. Once Americans got a taste of the iPAQ’s lovely color screen they could hardly settle for green and, um, darker green. Don’t expect HP to make the same mistake twice.

10. HP will release a remarkable new keyboard that operates based on eye movements and blinks. True or False?

FALSE. Just a figment of my wild imagination.

So, how do you think you did? 

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