February 2005

Verizon absorbs MCI
Well, so now Verizon takes over MCI, which, ironically had been one of the driving forces to break up AT&T. That's just weeks after SCBGlobal took over what was left of AT&T. A spokesman of the Institute of Policy Innovation commented, "The Verizon MCI merger following closely on the heels of the SBC AT&T merger demonstrates the effectiveness of the market to create effective synergies among the technologies that make up the vast inter-modal forms of data transmission and distribution. The natural integration of technologies created by this merger will enhance opportunities for new product development and deployment, more consumer choice and better consumer pricing options." Yeah, yeah. To us it sounds more like what goes around comes around. Once we had AT&T as a monopoly. Soon we'll have just Verizon and Cingular, one will buy the other, and we're back to a monopoly. Not what we need at the verge of a true mobile communications breakthrough. -- Posted Wednesday, February 16, 2005 by chb

Handheld market suffers third year of decline
According to IDC, the worldwide market for handheld devices suffered its fourth successive quarter of year-over-year decline for the fourth quarter of 2004 with shipment of 2.8 million units. Total 2004 shipments were 9.2 million compared to 10.6 million in 2003. IDC mentioned as reasons Sony's and Toshiba's withdrawal from the market, but also increased competition and a "search for relevance." Vendors of handhelds with integrated GPS receivers have seen some success, but other than that there's simply a lack of compelling solutions beyond PIM functionality. In terms of marketshare for Q4 2004, palmOne continues to be the leader, but the total share of Windows Mobile-based devices is greater.

Pen Computing commentary: The PDA market was searching for an identity and raison d'etre when Apple launched the original Newton. Apparently that hasn't changed. The primary problem, in our opinion is that PDAs seek to emulate notebooks rather than establish their own and separate identity. The death of the Newton ended an evolutionary line that was never picked up again by Pocket PCs and Palms.
-- Posted Wednesday, February 2, 2005 by chb

Illinois School uses palmOne PDAs
Avery Coonley School may be nearly 100 years old, but when it comes to endowing its teachers and students with handheld technology for the classroom, this private, independent school in Downers Grove, Ill., is one of the most forward-looking schools in the state. After the success of a fourth-grade pilot program last year, each student and teacher in grades four through eight now have their own Zire 72 handheld, as well as a wireless keyboard, from palmOne, Inc. It's the realization of the school's vision to provide a learning device for every student, and one that has earned full support and cooperation from students, teachers and parents. [Source: PRNewswire]
-- Posted Tuesday, February 1, 2005 by chb

Intellisync scores major account
According to PRNewswire, Intellisync Corporation, a leading developer and marketer of wireless software for the worldwide mobile communications industry has replaced Extended Systems as the mobility provider for Computer Software Architects (CSA), North America's leading vendor of linen and laundry management software. Intellisync's technology now mobilizes CSA's LinenHelperNet software, which allows hospitals to synchronize linen-tracking data entered into Palm OS-based handheld devices with information residing in the product's SQL database. The software, with "Intellisync Inside", was fully deployed just four days after it was purchased. -- Posted Tuesday, February 1, 2005 by chb