January 2004

PalmOne layoffs, refocus
PalmOne said it will reduce its workforce by 12% down to 740 employees and focus on devices that include mobile phones. Coming just after the acquisition of Handspring, this move bodes ill for the future of the PDA as originally envisioned. Seen as a platform with almost unlimited growth just two or three years ago, the future of the "classic" PDA all of a sudden seems uncertain. IDC analyst Alex Slawsky says for standard PDAs like the Tungstens, "PalmOne's best hope is to seek out new pockets of demand in a dwindling pool of potential users. But telephony is the real engine of growth." Pen Computing views this as a rather disconcerting development for the PDA. Mobile phones are ubiquitous these days, but to simply give up and hand over the PDA "DNA" to phones is not what we had hoped for. -- Posted Thursday, January 22, 2004 by chb

Fossil Wristwatch delayed again
Fossil's wristwatch concept, which received a lot of attention including a 2002 Best of Comdex award, is delayed again. Slated for release by mid-2003, the date of a heavily reworked, less expensive and more powerful version is now set for mid-2004. Apparently, the LCD, touchscreen and backlight chosen was not up to snuff. That means that Microsoft's MSN Wrist Net will likely beat the Fossil to market. -- Posted Tuesday, January 20, 2004 by chb