Hewlett-Packard (HP) and T-Mobile have launched a connectivity pack in the hope that it will boost take-up of the iPAQ h6340 Pocket PC through the channel.
The pack, which is available from today, costs £9.99 and includes two hours of Wi-Fi access, 30 days unlimited GPRS access, £5 of voice and text credit, together with a SIM card and user support.
"The pack will make it easier for resellers to sell iPAQs and we will also give them a loan pool of handsets to show working models to customers," said Neil Dagger, iPAQ wireless and devices manager at HP UK and Ireland.
Dagger added that the offer is like a starter pack, giving users a one-month trial of the services on offer. After the trial ends, users can either buy a new pack or investigate alternative tariffs.
"The pack will be sold through Westcoast initially and included in the price of the handset, but I don't know of any plans to sell it [the h6340] through T-Mobile stores because it's more of an IT reseller technology," Dagger said.
The handset is aimed at mobile professionals and allows access to voice and data through GSM, GPRS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technologies, according to HP.
"[The h6340] is the only handset that fits a SIM card. The partnership with T-Mobile helps to improve connectivity, customers' experience and maximise the device's potential," Dagger claimed.
The device also comes pre-installed with Windows Mobile 2003 operating system.
However, Mathew Jones, technical director at distributor Widget UK, told CRN that HP Pocket PC margins are notoriously low.
"Potentially we would market this package, but we've always had problems with HP Pocket PCs because there's no margin in them, so we market them directly," he said.
Dean Murphy, head of mobility at VAR Satsuma, agreed. "Take-up will depend on individual resellers. HP will be difficult to sell because of margins, but the package definitely makes selling PDAs more attractive as a complete solution," he said.
"This package will give resellers an additional string to their bow, and to us it's quite attractive."
HP declined to comment on reseller margins because of its third-quarter quiet period.
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