Compaq has urged enterprise resellers to embrace its latest generation of PDAs or risk losing business to specialist VARs who incorporate the devices into their customers' IT rollout.
The warning came as Compaq, Hewlett Packard (HP) and Casio unveiled their hand-held offerings based on Microsoft's latest compact operating system, Pocket PC. A successor to the Windows CE platform, the OS is the software giant's latest attempt to take market share from dominant rival Palm in the nascent PDA market.
Neil Dagger, senior product marketing manager at Compaq's PC group, said that VARs had to "think of the big picture" when selling PDAs to the corporate market.
"Too many resellers think of PDAs as a gadget and a gimmick with a low return. Bigger resellers in particular need to understand that it is a new technology, or they risk losing business to specialist resellers who already know this," said Dagger.
Compaq is using the launch of Pocket PC to push its "everything for the internet" message. The vendor aims to eventually take 50 per cent of the hand-held market.
"We'll be working closely with our channel to encourage customers to standardise on Compaq, and sell hand-helds in the same way that laptops and PCs are sold," added Dagger.
However, not all channel partners were impressed. "I know what [PDA is] sitting on my desk, and it's not a Compaq," said one.
Last week, Compaq launched an updated version of its Pocket PC based Aero, the 1550. In June the vendor will launch the iPAQ Pocket PC, a completely revised model that will incorporate a slide-on jacket allowing users to add features such as gaming, MP3 and internet access. Initially costing around £400, Dagger said the device would eventually support the Bluetooth wireless standard.
HP has unveiled a Pocket PC for its Jornada range. The Jornada 540 series is available in two versions: the 545, which comes with 16Mbytes of RAM; and the 548, which has 32Mbytes. The range will be available in the UK from the second week of May. The 545 costs £369 including VAT and the 548 is priced at £439.
First appeared in Computer Reseller News
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