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Pen-Based PDA Market on Death Bed 281

An anonymous reader writes "The traditional pen-based PDA market is destined to evaporate within the next four years, according to HP, and it will be focusing its handheld efforts on converged smart phone devices, such as its latest BlackBerry rivals unveiled this week -- the iPAQ rw6800 and the iPAQ hw6900." From the article: "This won't come as a surprise to many, as HP hasn't given its traditional pen-based product line a refresh since the launch of the iPAQ hx4700 towards the middle of 2004. It released the iPAQ rx1950 in September of last year, but this was very much an entry-level product and made few waves among the high-end, tech-savvy consumers that dominate the PDA segment."
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Pen-Based PDA Market on Death Bed

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  • Tablet PCs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PlayCleverFully ( 947815 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @11:01AM (#14842448) Homepage
    Pen Based PDA's will be replaced by better tablet pcs.

    I am not sure why they have not caught on a lot more, they offer tons on functionality, and decent uptimes.

    Take handwritten notes and have them stored in digital format stored immediately?

    Why not?
    • Re:Tablet PCs (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hcdejong ( 561314 ) <hobbes&xmsnet,nl> on Friday March 03, 2006 @11:06AM (#14842490)
      I'll believe it when I see a Tablet PC
      - small enough to stick in a pants pocket
      - that doesn't need charging every 4 hours
      • Re:Tablet PCs (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lawpoop ( 604919 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @12:09PM (#14842889) Homepage Journal
        The Nokia 770 [wikipedia.org] fits your first criteria. However the battery life is only 3 hours [nokiausa.com].

        I've seen it at CompUSA, and it is very sleek! It is horizontally oriented and sits comfortably into my hand.

        The only problem is that it lacks apps. I think partly because it was designed as a web browsing device, and partly because Nokia thought it would fail, there were no apps built for it. However, since it runs the somewhat open-source Maemo platform, there is a lot of opportunity for community development.
        • Re:Tablet PCs (Score:3, Informative)

          by hotspotbloc ( 767418 )
          I'm getting atleast three hours of heavy use (100mW 802.11g and the screen full blast) on my 770. Four plus without network usage and a dim screen. It also seems to take less than hour to get an almost full charge. Beautiful hardware and decent, but somewhat immature software. Time will fix that and the lack of apps. Many of the deb-arm packages work if you've rooted your 770.
          • I'm curious -- what do you use it for, and where do you use it?

            There were a couple of things that I really want a tablet computer for -- an animation app, a calendar app, and a chinese character learning app.
        • Re:Tablet PCs (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Beowabbit ( 306889 )
          I just got one, and I've gotten much more than three hours out of the battery. I spent four hours on the bus with one (no Bluetooth or WiFi running, but with the backlight up pretty high) and the on-screen battery indicator showed about 50% charge when I was done (although I'm not sure that's linear).

          I'd say 3 hours is about what I'd expect with WiFi on, and maybe playing music. For reading an ebook or browsing off-line, I get a lot more.

          There are lots of third-party apps available (cf http://maemo.or [maemo.org]

    • Re:Tablet PCs (Score:5, Interesting)

      by badasscat ( 563442 ) <basscadet75NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday March 03, 2006 @11:08AM (#14842499)
      Pen Based PDA's will be replaced by better tablet pcs.

      I am not sure why they have not caught on a lot more,

      Because people don't want them. In fact, the same dynamic is at work in replacing the pen-based PDA with keyboard-based models. You may not understand it (hey, even unpopular ideas have at least a few fans), but I think the market has proven time and time again that people want keyboard-based input.

      Those who argue in favor of pen-based input always talk about how "intuitive" it is, but I think that's a misnomer. Is it more intuitive to jot something down that even you yourself can barely read and that is poorly recognized by the PC than it is to simply type something that everybody can understand? Is it any faster? (The answer to that is clearly no; you can test that yourself.)

      Pen-based PDA's are on the way out and so are tablet PC's, except for those certain market segments (medical professionals, construction, etc.) that can benefit from them. But they are not suitable as general purpose machines; not as suitable as PC's with keyboards, anyway.
      • I'd have to agree. I had a Tungsten C during school and that was an awesome machine - but quite bulky. I cracked the screen - Palm wouldn't cover it and local stores were out of stock of replacement units so I moved on to a HP ppc. It does everything - it's really an amazing unit - except for hte fact that it had no keyboard like the Tungsten C. The lack of a keyboard really limits its functionality. The add-on keyboard is really not as useful. I'd prefer not converge my phone and pda for battery life issu
        • So.... You want a Treo. It's like a Tungsten C, but with GSM or CDMA instead of Wifi. The current Palm version runs ~$100 with a new contract or renewal with your cell provider, and the newer WinCE (if you swing that way) version runs about $300 with activation.
      • When I first got my Pocket PC I raved about its handwriting recognition. It reads my handwriting correctly about 85-90% of the time. I would tell everyone how great it was... that is until I let them try it.

        To my horror virtually everyone who tried it would get about 45-50% recognition. That meant I had to stand there like an idiot explaining and demonstrating how good it was at reading MY handwriting even though it thought THEIR handwriting was pretty much random scratchings.

        Evidently I just happen to

      • So isn't the answer a touchscreen with minimal buttons, and your choice of keyboard? From the roll out keyboards to the projecting displays via standard bluetooth/usb keyboards you choose, and of course you should always be able to sacrifice screen space for an on screen keyboard if you so desire. Carry a small portable and have your favourite keyboard waiting for you wherever you do most of your data entry, or just nick one from the nearest pc. I really don't understand why the "tablet pcs" are just
      • Re:Tablet PCs (Score:2, Interesting)

        by letxa2000 ( 215841 )
        I can agree that pen-based PDA-only devices might not last much longer, but pen-based phones seem entirely logical to me. The problem isn't the pen-based aspect of the PDA, it's that the PDA doesn't do anything else.

        I bought a Palm a few years ago and used it actively for probably a couple of months. Then I just stopped. It just wasn't convenient to carry my cell phone and my PDA. The problem wasn't the pen, the problem was the extra device.

        As I had to recently decide what kind of phone I was going t

      • the same dynamic is at work in replacing the pen-based PDA with keyboard-based models

        I've been using PDAs for years- first a Palm V, then a Tungsten T. I switched to a Treo a few months ago and I've found the mini keyboard to be a much more efficient method for using the device. It's a pleasure to use in comparison, quite frankly. I've rarely used the stylus on my Treo, although I probably would use it more if it still included the Note Pad application.

        However, I wouldn't like to see the touch-sensiti

      • Re:Tablet PCs (Score:2, Interesting)

        by dubl-u ( 51156 ) *
        Is it more intuitive to jot something down that even you yourself can barely read and that is poorly recognized by the PC than it is to simply type something that everybody can understand? Is it any faster? (The answer to that is clearly no; you can test that yourself.)

        Having switched a year ago from a Grafitti-based Palm to a keyboard-based one (the Treo 650), I firmly believe the keyboard is worse. I suspect raw character entry speed is about the same for me, but now I have to switch back and forth betwee
      • The interesting question is this: what is the difference between what people want and what people need.

        Answer this wrong, and you fail to get the customer on the all important upgrade treadmill.

        Keyboards are a trade off. What you give up is the ratio of PDA size to screen. A PDA that is smaller is better. A PDA with a bigger screen is better. It therefore follows that the ideal PDA is all screen, and a keyboard PDA will never be ideal.

        On the other hand, a keyboarded PDA has the following advantage: it'
    • Re:Tablet PCs (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Techguy666 ( 759128 )
      Pen Based PDA's will be replaced by better tablet pcs.

      I am not sure why they have not caught on a lot more, they offer tons on functionality, and decent uptimes.

      Take handwritten notes and have them stored in digital format stored immediately?


      Well, my employer (a K-12 school) pushed me to introduce the iPaq handhelds two years ago. After a lot of poor trial results (dead batteries, cracked screens, difficulty of interface, inferior software to the Palm, etc...) I let the project die like a dinosaur in a
    • I don't think so. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hey! ( 33014 )
      At least if PDAs are losing to tablets, I haven't seen evidence of this.

      It is more true that PDAs are losing to converged devices, but I think that's only half the story. What I think really is happening is that PDAs are being bracketed by laptops on one end and converged/feature rich phones on the other. Everybody who might use a PDA is almost certainly carrying a laptop and a phone that if it isn't "converged", it is practically so in all but name.

      Personally, I don't think either fits the true PDA niche,
      • Re:I don't think so. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by powerlord ( 28156 )

        or perhaps some follow on to the video iPod.

        I remember the rumors recently that the current "iPod Video" is not what Apple really had in mind for the iPod video and that the next generation would have a screen the size of the device, and move the controls to a touch sensitive screen.

        If this is true (and I think it likely), then it would also be a perfect opportunity for Apple to upgrade the PDA functions already in the iPod by including better text entry (a soft keyboard, and/or a stylus of some sort?).

    • I'll tell you why not. I'm currently busy trying to find a cellphone/PDA combo that _doesn't_ have a keyboard. I want a PDA that i can use for just one thing, taking notes. Being able to import and read text files from other sources would be good to. I was a little worried about having to learn that special handwriting stroke thing, but then a friend of mine showed me her PDA, which had the option to bring up a virtual keyboard that you could type on using the stylus, which is good enough for me.

      So why av

    • The pen, a lovely analog device, is horribly inacurate, requires calibration, and requires two hands. That was one thing when Palm was competing with writing in a notebook and wanted things familar, but in this day and world where people love the mouse and a few buttons, the pen is just a hassle. The ability to do anything on a BlackBerry with just one hand makes it rather ideal for many cases (this being calendaring and looking up addresses, entry of course is another story), not to mention having a keyb
  • by Daniel_Staal ( 609844 ) <DStaal@usa.net> on Friday March 03, 2006 @11:02AM (#14842454)
    Fine, get out of the market. Just please, someone stay in. I'd be lost without my PDA, and I don't want a 'smartphone'. I want something I can reference while holding the phone...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Handsfree Bluetooth Headsets will be your best friend then. That or get an Axim :)
      • Yeah, because we're all slasdotters who don't mind looking like big startrek geeks. And just because some business people don't mind either, they still look like idiot in my book. Until someone comes out with a bluetooth headset that doesn't look like I've strapped a clothespin on my ear, it ain't happnin.
        • by digitalgiblet ( 530309 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @12:13PM (#14842920) Homepage Journal
          I agree, but evidently NON-geeks seem to be adopting the bluetooth "clothespins". I stopped for gas this morning (in a suburb of Atlanta) and of the 5 or 6 people getting gas I was the ONLY one NOT wearing one (and I'm pretty sure I was the biggest geek onhand). The funniest part is that people who wear them DON'T take them off. They were all walking around inside the building getting coffe, etc. while wearing their large, obtrusive ear-pieces. Only Lt. Uhura had a more obtrusive ear-piece!

          I've long held the opinion that if you gave one of these things to one of the homeless guys who stand on the street and talk to unseen people, they would cease to look crazy, but rather "productive". Go figure.

          • if you gave one of these things to one of the homeless guys who stand on the street and talk to unseen people, they would cease to look crazy

            Washington, D.C. - Today the Bush administration announced the first major increase in public spending for the mentally ill since Ronald Reagan slashed psychiatric care for indigents in the 1980s. Under the new program, Medicare will be expanded such that every American who is diagnosed with schizophrenia will be issued with a Bluetooth headset to allow them to speak

        • "Until someone comes out with a bluetooth headset that doesn't look like I've strapped a clothespin on my ear, it ain't happnin."

          Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

          (BTW, I totally agree with you)
        • I think you've missed the aesthetic aspect entirely. It's a clothespin with a beacon. I think it makes you MUCH more attractive than a plain ol clothespin without a beacon.

          I was amazed how bright that sucker is in my Plantronics 640 when it strobed as I walked through a dark hallway.
      • To everyone who is saying 'Get a Bluetooth headset': I fail to see how this is cheaper or easier to carry. It is just as many pieces, and the headset's I've seen are almost as big as my (cheap: no Bluetooth or camera or anything much) phone. My phone has a belt clip, my PDA fits nicely in my pocket.

        Where do I carry a headset? In my pocket? Works, but I'd forget to use it. (And probably lose it, since I'd never use it.) On my ear? Great, walk around all the time with something strapped to my ear for
    • Use a headset/handsfree? Or do you want to hold a pda in one hand, phone in the other and the pen in your mouth?
      • Mostly it's that I use a PDA in plenty of places and ways that a smartphone would just be extra bulk, cost, and clumbsiness. I have a cell phone; which I use maybe twice a month. I use my PDA several dozen times a day. I read on it, I keep my contacts, my calender, my passwords, I write on it, I play games...

        A smartphone concentrates to much on the phone. Which to me is really irrelevent.
      • As a student who just destroyed a phone (taking it out to parties and such), i prefer the phone/pda to the smartphone. my phone needs to be cheap enough that i can take it anywhere (camping, biking, out drinking, etc...) and not worry about it.
    • I don't want a smartpone either, I's like to leave my PDA at home when I go out (concerts, clubbing etc.), because I don't mind losing my phone, but I do mind losing a PDA with all my personal notes, bussiness notes etc on it. (of course there is alwais a chance of losing it, but the risks are just that much higher, and no I don't believe that encrypting/locking wil be sufficient, I'd rather just leave it at home).
      • I generally always have my Treo with me, but if I were going somewhere I didn't want to have the PDA and only wanted a phone, it would be trivial to pop out my SIM card and put it in a spare phone I have in the closet and go out knowing that my phone is disposable. Of course, if I were to lose it, I'd have to buy a new SIM card presumably, but that's a whole lot more convenient than losing my Treo.
      • I want a phone which syncs properly with my Exchange server (Yeah I know it's not OSS, so shoot me). My PDA does that, but until my phone can sync with Exchange I don't care how smart it thinks it is. Windows Mobile 5 on a PDA is fairly slick, anybody know of a cheap(ish) phone which offers contact/calendar sync of a similar level?
        • any phone that runs either windows mobile 5, or windows mobile 2003SE will do the job admirably. I run an Orange SPV C500, which is the same as an HTC Typhoon. You can get these for around 50UKP unlocked on ebay. The best bit about it is the Exchange synch...oh, and I run TomTom mobile sat nav on it too, via a BT GPS unit.
      • I want a razr. I spend lots of time visiting government buildings and I used to spend lots of time visiting engineering and manufacturing facilities. Cameras are not allowed which means that if my cell has a camera, I can't keep my cell.

        I also want bluetooth.

        I call Verizon - "can I have a bluetooth phone without a camera?" "No - the cell phone people won't provide them, but we have lots of engineers and lots of lawyers who want one". I call Motorola - "can I have a bluetooth phone without a camera?" "

    • Yeah, this stinks. I have the 4700 pocketpc and like it, in fact I'm posting on it now. We're not allowed cellphones in the workplace so a standalone pda is a necessity for me.

      With sony out and palm going downhill, where will I get my next PDA?

    • I want something I can reference while holding the phone...

      So get a bluetooth ear piece. You can talk on the phone while looking at it to make notes, while driving down the freeway, eating a donut, drinking a Starbucks coffee. Just make sure to have 911 on speed dial, you will need it after the crash.
    • When you pry it from my cold, dead fingers or,

      When the batteries quit charging or

      When it breaks and Palm charges exhorbitantly to replace it, assuming of course, you can actually get a hold of Palm tech support, or,

      After I through it against the wall in frustration after (yet again) being unable to browse the Palm's own web site because of "unsupported download type".

      I've owned a Palm since The Beginning but the Tungsten C is my last one. To big, too short of battery life, terrible software. No F

    • I want my PDA and phone to be seperate. The phone should handle communications duties. And they should talk to each other wirelessly (bluetooth).
    • This "digital convergence" is a crock. It's really an attempt by different players to encroach on other markets. Thus, Nokia the phone manufacturer might decide they want a piece of the PDA pie, so they cram a PDA in their phone. Likewise, they see a handheld game market, so in goes a crappy hand player. I suppose they'll see the massive porn market and add a tissue and lotion dispenser.

      I want my tools to do their jobs well. I don't want a screwdriver on the side of my wrench. I don't want my coffee c
    • Then get a bluetooth headset. In about five years I hope to not have to type at all. If you have good enough voice recognition, you'll be able to run a computer from a headset and refer to it in your hand.
  • by Rydia ( 556444 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @11:04AM (#14842471)
    Harley-Davidson has a release fortelling the impending doom of automobiles in favor of motorcycles.
  • You know... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mangus_angus ( 873781 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @11:06AM (#14842492)
    not all of us WANT all in one devices. I like my phone, MP3 player, and PDA being separate devices. If one breaks I'm not screwed three times over.
    • I want to be able to do a little organizing on my MP3 player and phone and listen to mp3s on my phone and PDA, and be able to share any kind of anything between them.

      I want everything to be able to do everything, but each should also do one thing well.

      That way, if one of them breaks, I can use the other one...kinda.

      My PDA is my bookreader, and my phone is my mp3 player but in a pinch either will do the other thing. It's just that the phone has an understandably small screen, and the PDA has an understandab
  • ... and I can't stand it. I could enter data incredibly fast with one hand with pen on the palm, with the treo I have to fumble using those stupid small keyboards, which takes two hands and is very, very , very slow compared to just writing something with the pen. I have just about given up on entering any data into the thing because it is so difficult. I want a palm phone with no keyboard. I guess I'll be going back to my regular old palm and separate phone though.
    • ... and I can't stand it. I could enter data incredibly fast with one hand with pen on the palm, with the treo I have to fumble using those stupid small keyboards, which takes two hands and is very, very , very slow compared to just writing something with the pen.

      Well, the Treo's keyboard is uncomfortably small, for me at least, but many people seem ok with it. My handheld device, a T-mobile sidekick, has a very comfortable keyboard and I find that I can type nearly as fast (with software key shortcuts (i.
    • Want to race? I can't write fast with a stylus. They're too thin, and I'm not a fast writer anyway. I bet I can thumb type faster tham most grafitti users though. And both require both hands.

      I almost never use the stylus on my Treo. Only on poorly designed websites, and games. Everything else is well mapped to keys.

      I loved my standalone palm, but now that I've had the Treo, I wouldn't trade the phone integration for anything.
    • Its not so much that Palm offers Smart phones. Its that Palm does not push back against the idea of PDA being a phone accessory as opposed to a phone being a PDA accessory. Its not in their interest to be second fiddle, but they dont seem to get it.

      I went from Palm to Treo to BlackBerry. Which is from Stylus for everything to Stylus for selection and keyb for rest, to keyboard and thumbwheel. Each was a step down in user interaction. A smart phone would be yet another step down. Palm leadership is inc
  • I hope not (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hcdejong ( 561314 ) <hobbes&xmsnet,nl> on Friday March 03, 2006 @11:13AM (#14842525)
    I love my Palm with satnav software. For me, this is the best compromise yet for satnav: it's linked to my address book, easily updated with new maps/POI etc, and usable everywhere. Much better than traditional in-car satnav. Running this on a phone would suck, too, thanks to the tiny screen of a phone.
  • Pricing matters (Score:3, Insightful)

    by orangeguru ( 411012 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @11:14AM (#14842533) Homepage
    Most people NEVER needed a PDA anyway - a calendar and addressbook in a mobile is enough for most people.

    Plus many modern PDAs cost almost as much as a small / low budget laptop. Why bother buying an expensive gizmo if you can the real thing for a bit more? Also subsidized smart phones from network operators will always be cheaper as 'unconnected' PDAs.

    So in the future we will only have even smarter phones and mini notebooks. PDAs will be gone - they were an evolutionary step to the new offsprings.
    • Plus many modern PDAs cost almost as much as a small / low budget laptop. Why bother buying an expensive gizmo if you can the real thing for a bit more?

      Because you look a complete tool trying to shove a laptop in your pocket.

    • I Love my PDA. It plays my daily play lists of mp3s and wmas, it has all of my scheduling, I use it to control my MCE box, I can check my email on it, I can browse the web (although someone really needs to make a pda.slashdot.org site).

      My phone on the other hand, I want it to act like a phone (and contact phone list). That's it. no games, no web browsing, no fansy smancy battery draining crap. If my MP3 player dies, I'm fine. If my digital camera dies, my life will continue. But if I'm stuck on the side of
    • Most people NEVER needed a PDA anyway - a calendar and addressbook in a mobile is enough for most people.

      Having attempted to use both the calendar and addressbook in my cell phone (which is, granted, the cheapest phone my carrier offered), I am fairly certain anyone that utters this kind of nonsense has never used a PDA for more than a few minutes at a time.

      Plus many modern PDAs cost almost as much as a small / low budget laptop. Why bother buying an expensive gizmo if you can the real thing for a bit more?

    • I bothered with a PDA as I can use it to run RDP sessions to Windows-based servers and also use PockeTTY to SSH into our linux servers for emergency remote support without having to lug even a small footprint laptop around when I am 'off duty'.

      I also use it to test wifi strength around buildings and to sniff out open access points. Oh, and of course it syncs with my desktop calendar.

      My iPAQ fits easily into a trouser or suit pocket. On phones the screen is too small and I don't want a phone with a large scr
  • From what I read on MSNBC http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11636942/ [msn.com] , the Origami project will be a paperbook sized tablet computer (i.e. a PDA on steroids) that will run regular Win-XP instead of the crippled CE or XP-embeded found on most PDAs. Basically the PDA will evolve from an embedded system with limited functionality into a more full-featured portable PC with full multi-media capability. This will could also be a threat to the iPod, since the Origami box would also be a portable player, but with other
    • In theory a PDA should have been a threat to the IPOD as well. IT's clear the IPOD's selling point isn't functionality per se.

      My ppc plays videos and music (via a 1 gig sd card). I also have bluetooth (used mostly for DUN) - Wifi. I can do basical word processing and spreadsheet functions - surf the web, read ebooks, play games, skype, instant message... just a wide range of things at a cost on par with and in some instances below the cost of an IPOD.

      Origami is going to need cool factor and the right price
  • by engagebot ( 941678 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @11:16AM (#14842550)
    PDAs are slowly going the way of the pager.

    As soon as you have devices that do everything a PDA does, but better and still cheap, the PDA as it is now will disappear. The problem is a lot of these devices now try to do everything, but don't do anything well (and they're expensive). Once that begins to change, it will be no surprise.

    That's what i thought the origami was going to be. Why not have a blackberry-type device which is super easy to use, works perfectly with Exchange, and has all the cool pen-based pda functionality. As long as they could pull it off without being cumbersome, i think it would work. Thats why some devices succeed and some fail: crappy ones are too cumbersome to actually use.
    • "Better" in terms of display is not going to happen any time soon. Not in a telephone form factor anyway. My PDA has one of the biggest screens available, and I'd go bigger if 1) it wasn't a luggable rather than a portable and 2) it ran palmOS.
    • A device that does everything that a PDA does is a PDA. Rebranding it a "smartphone", or giving it a keyboard does not change that fact.

      Modern PDAs have more horsepower than desktop PCs ten years ago. There is nothing really new or innovative about the new "Origami" device, the market is simply following the logical conlcusion of having faster and cheaper hardware available. It is no longer necessary to use highly specialized embedded technology to produce PDAs. So they are not going away, it's just that th
    • Wrong. The phone has a faster UI than a pager.

      I and a lot of people that manage our schedules with a PDA don't have time or patience to do the same with a UI limited 'smart' phone. I also do not want a mini-laptop. I want a reliable handspring Treo. But because there is more money in smart phones due to the payment scheme, everyone is abandoning the PDA.

      Once you add a phone onto a PDA the PDA companies flip the fuck out and start trying to get subscription money by acting like its a phone.

      Looks like Bla
      • "Wrong. The phone has a faster UI than a pager."

        What are you talking about? The pager is the ultimate in quick and dirty: Your pager beeps, you look at the screen, it shows you the number which called you. Pretty fast. The thing is, with cell phones so small/cheap/easy, you might as well just answer the call instead of having to go find a phone and call back the person that paged you. That's the point: cell phones do everything a pager did, only better and cheaper. There's no downsides.

        You're right ab
  • Expensive toys (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DrWho520 ( 655973 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @11:23AM (#14842587) Journal
    the high-end, tech-savvy consumers

    Do you mean the early adopters who are willing to spend way to much on a piece of kit so they can flaunt their technical superiority? I wear a watch, I carry a planner and I have a pen. My watch is self winding (yes, it is even an analog watch), I recharge my planner once a year (calendar refils) and a pen is always at hand. I guess that just leaves the effort of finding the correct date and writing something down. Oh, and manually checking the schedule.
  • T-Mobile has (finally) updated their MDA line with the MDA IV [t-mobile.com]. It's awesome. It's pen based, keyboard based(like a sidekick mini), runs Windows Mobile 5, has transcriber support, touchscreen, everything. And it's a phone. =)

    I think HP just doesn't like that their stuff isn't innovative anymore(neither is T-Mobile, it's just a rebranded HTC Wizard or Qtek 9100 or I-Mate something or other, I forget who the actual manufacturer is, but...) whereas HP has released the same old stuff for as long as I can rememb
  • Some people do not want a phone/camera/PDA/media player in one device. Some people have these already as separate devices, and don't see a need to keep buying the 'latest and greatest' gadget just to be 'cool/hip/whatever.'

    I don't think that the PDA will go away as long as the PDA's power/speed increases and the price stays low.
  • My lifelong use of a pocket-sized memo pad and a ballpoint pen hasn't once crashed on me yet.
  • Death of PDA (Score:2, Insightful)

    The PDA (personal digital assistant) is simply changing shape. It's called the cellphone. We need our cellphones. Take a look at Japanese cellphones. They are used as e-wallets, garage door openers, gym membership verifiers, 3 way video conference communicators, and so on. With the advent of e-ink and flexible display technology, we can expect larger screens with higher resolution and lower power consumption that roll out. Take a look at the images at e-ink.com. The PDA is not dead. The personal digital ass
  • Tried using a Palm VII a few years ago. It kind of worked. But eventually gave up on it. It was more hassel that it was useful.

  • within four years, eh, hp?

    why, with your airtight reputation for being able to spot (and drive!) trends, i'd say this is pretty much guaranteed to be a spot-on prediction. particularly if the prediction was made in 1999.

    i'm just happening that someone, somewhere, manages to save the trademark 'zire'. that is a precious word, and one that we can't take for granted.
  • by Gunfighter ( 1944 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @11:42AM (#14842707) Homepage
    The one class of PDAs I know to be on the rise is... analog!

    I just splurged and dropped ~$20 on a new PDA. This PDA [hipsterpda.com] I purchased is great! The batteries never run out, it is almost totally immune to shock from being dropped, I can transfer data easily between home and office, and the format is universal so I never have to worry about incompatibilities, and it is so fast and easy to use that even my parents can understand it. I went ahead and purchased an add-on module [tinyurl.com] for it so I could have the advanced calendaring to track my gigs and rehearsals. Luckily, I already had a docking station [leedsworld.com] for it with extra storage capacity as well as a variety of other add-ons, so it fit right into my daily routine.

    I consider it one of the best investments I've made in years. Spending $20 to successfully replace a $300 device may not sound realistic, but I've never been more organized than I am now. All I had to do that I got rid of my old PDA systems (Palm OS based devices) and find something that fit better with my new filing system. [43folders.com]
    • I'm right there with you. I've got a high-end Palm and an mid-range Axim. I've tried unsuccessfully to use both to get myself organized. My cell phone holds all the contact information I need on a daily basis. Since entering anything in an electronic calendar that requires handwring recognition (or numerous taps on a virtual keyboard) is slow, the only entries in my calendar were recurring things I remembered anyway (weekly team meetings, martial arts class schedule, etc). The important stuff to jot do
    • Amazing, I've just been through the same kind of epiphany. I've got my iBook and Treo with me constantly, but a couple of weeks ago found myself floundering with my todo's and whatnot. While syncing is no problem, I really didn't feel I had a Birds Eye View. Since I'm a project manager basically hired out to customers, I have an extremely heterogenous workload. Like many, I went the GTD -> 43Folders (link in parent post) -> Hipster PDA (3x5 index cards).

      I liked the templates I found referenced at
  • Bullshit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jasonditz ( 597385 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @11:45AM (#14842730) Homepage
    Just like how the mobile phone was going to replace the handheld video game system in a few years. Or how desktops were going to be replaced by laptops, or how laptops were going to be replaced by tablet PCs.

    Some people just don't want a PDA with a monthly subscription fee attached.
  • My only want? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ShyGuy91284 ( 701108 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @11:50AM (#14842758)
    I want a Cell Phone. One that isn't the size of a damn PDA, but has text input via a stylus and touchscreen.... Large Phones deter me..... But it's useful being able to "pencil in" appointments, assignments, and stuff like that on a PDA.
  • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @11:55AM (#14842792)
    They're crap to use. I mean, they're *useless* for any serious amount of data input, have you ever tried writing a letter on one? and a PDA or smart phone is more useful for displaying data because *it fits in a pocket*...

    You want a serious computer, today, it *must* have a keyboard, otherwise it's a data display device.

    For those who don't want to carry a PDA, camera, a laptop and a phone, Nokia have the Communicator devices, everything in one.

    http://www.europe.nokia.com/nokia/0,,54106,00.html [nokia.com]

    http://www.europe.nokia.com/nokia/0,6771,77854,00. html [nokia.com]

    • they're *useless* for any serious amount of data input

      That's the Palm legacy for you. Palm kicked Newton ass partly because they used a 'good enough' handwriting technology that resulted in a MUCH cheaper device because it didn't require the massive computing power that Rosetta did. While this was appropriate at the time it's now a legacy anchor holding back a major portion of the PDA marketplace.

      Yes, there are better handwriting recognition engines on some PDA's, but those devices tend to be coupled with

  • Let's see... My list would be:

    - Small factor that I could carry with me in my pocket. Pants pocket preferred, but I could settle for belt or jacket.
    - Cell phone with high speed wireless access (GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, etc...)
    - Possibility to be ONLINE, connected AND one or more phone conversation simultaneously.
    - VoIP client integrated to it.
    - form factor with small keyboard for basic on the go work.
    - OS should be easily upgradable
    - sensitive screen so I can take notes on it with an integrated pen.
    - Blue tooth, w
  • I think pen based for pointing is a good thing. However, I find that entering text via the pen never worked very well. It was slower than typing on the mini keyboards, didn't feel natural, so you're writing was messsy, and if you weren't sitting still (on a bus,in a car), then it was even worse.
  • I recently had an oppertunity to develop a .Net app for a Pocket PC. One of my primary design and layout considerations was to make the buttons thumbable. With larger buttons and small dead space between them, you lose a lot of screen space, but the app can then be used with out a stylus making it significantly easier to get around in.

  • I love my PDA (Score:2, Informative)

    by Lanhdanan ( 676256 )
    Been using a PDA for years. Read books, play games, keeps photos, my emails, phone numbers, personal notes, date reminders ... It is a part of my life really. Use it everyday. One thing it doesnt need it a damn phone. Im already around too many phones (most times i dont even bother answering my phone @ home. more bother than what it is worth.)

    I will be upgrading when im inclined (to a model around $500-$600 CAD), and i guess with HP going out, that is one less model i need to be concerned with researching w
  • When HP bought Compaq, they had just come out with a refresh for the Hp Jornada Pocket PC that made it one of the best devices out. While the Rube-Goldberg iPaq had a larger market share by dint of being the first device out using the ARM processor that became the standard with Pocket PC 2002, it was ungainly to actually use... you pretty much had to add a sleeve AND a protective case, making the resulting device too large to conveniantly carry in your pocket, the Jornada 568 with its hard shell and built-i
  • Pen based PDAs were being hailed as the latest and greatest.

    I wonder how many people blew their $$$ chasing that fad?
  • I hate to tell HP this, but the touch-screen pocket-sized computer will always be with us, as long as hand sizes remain the same, and as long as pockets still exist. Maybe we won't call them a PDA. Maybe we'll call them an Internet Tablet?
  • If only pen-PDAs had introduced a new "pen paradigm" to replace (or at least augment) the keyboard and mouse paradigms in their UI. But they aren't even as graphical as the current creaky old paradigm (dating from the beginning of the epoch). They're more textual. They don't do text recognition, either per-letter or per-word/-phrase, as accurately as typing. And worse, correcting mistakes takes longer and is much more distracting than with typing.

    Penpads have the opportunity to make most interfaces to info
  • I don't think the PDA pen-small-computing thing will evaporate at all. It will just evolve into something else that remains useful. Be they watches, phones, wallets, traditional PDA palmtops, something-not-yet-thought-of, etc., the PDA will stick with us for a long time.

    On another note, I've always enjoyed messing with HP stuff - it's generally interesting and sometimes even esoteric... BUT... If I were trying to get my product into the world's consciousness, I wouldn't name it iPaq xr4900Bni6lQwlTurbo2.0
  • by Phat_Tony ( 661117 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @01:24PM (#14843469)
    I sort of agree with what the article's saying; that the stand-alone PDA's days are numbered. (pun intended).

    But when devices converge, and you get one thing that is a cell phone, and a camera, and an MP3 player, and a GPS/mapping/directions device, and it manages and hotsyncs your email and address book and lets you edit them, then how can you really say which category of device "won" and which ones "died?" Is it based on the existence of a pen for input that truly defines the PDA? Is it based on whether you end up buying the device at an office supply store or a cell-phone store? Is it based on which predecessor device the new device looks the most like?

    I don't think PDA functionality is going away, it's either being subsumed or else subsuming the functions of other devices. I think that when functionality is integrated, arguing over which previously separate set of functionality "won" and which "died" is just pointless semantic quibbling.

  • by option8 ( 16509 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @02:02PM (#14843784) Homepage
    about damn time. my newton is starting to show its age. now the industry can move on to something *new* and finally come up with a replacement for it.

The absent ones are always at fault.