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Why PDAs don't sell??

Last response: in Mobile Computing
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March 6, 2005 5:21:00 AM

I've heard PDA (PPC) sales are shrinking. WHY??
They are powerful offering GPS maps, PDF, Compact office apps, emails, programming in the Compant Framework, SQL Server CE, etc etc. Media Player 10 with MP3 (lots of codecs), Jpegs, MPEG 1,4 video, etc.

These featues are WAY beyond all MP3 players. But, the hard-drive based MP3 player sales are growing fast.

Why do PPCs come with a 128meg flash drive? Why not a 40 Gig 1.8" drive?? Example. The Archos AV480 has a larger 80 Gig 2.5" drive and the device is still small and slim (while able to record video Directly to HIGH-RES Mpeg4).

It seems just adding a (much) larger HD to a PPC will make all the difference. I don't think it makes sense to compare PDAs with cell phones. (the screen of phones suck because the device is so small)

Does this make sense or I am just blowing hot air?

thanks!

Erric

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March 7, 2005 7:09:06 AM

Whats rediculous is that some have 480x640 screens and 400+ mhz processor and pretty much zero storage. They can play videos, but have no room for them.

They are working on a new standard to let portable hard drives plug and play with PDA's. CE-ATA or something like that.

Now you just need to be able to connect a foldable keyboard and one of the rollable screens they are working on and I would be in heaven.
March 7, 2005 7:22:56 AM

All I can think of why PDA HDs suck is they can't be "too" good. Imagine a PDA with Mobile Windows 2005 and Media player 10, .NET 2.0 etc with a good 1.8" hard-drive...

Who will buy a MP3 player if such a PDA exists ???

Erric
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March 8, 2005 12:55:25 AM

Their onboard batteries are to small to support the needs of a hard drive no matter how small. Have you ever plugged a micro drive into a pda w/ a cf slot? It made the battery life in my friends PDA go from several hours to about 15minutes.
It would also be cost prohibitive. A 40gb 1.8" drive would add several hundred dollars to an already large price. The most common use for PDAs is not for media but for office/corprate tasks (ms office, schedules, etc). Those things dont need much space at all.

These office/corprate features are now found in cellphones so there is less demand to hold yet another thing in your pocket. If you want movies and stuff just get one of those portable media center things that toms reviewed.

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
March 11, 2005 5:29:52 AM

Their onboard batteries are to small to support the needs of a hard drive no matter how small. Have you ever plugged a micro drive into a pda w/ a cf slot? It made the battery life in my friends PDA go from several hours to about 15minutes.
It would also be cost prohibitive. A 40gb 1.8" drive would add several hundred dollars to an already large price. The most common use for PDAs is not for media but for office/corprate tasks (ms office, schedules, etc). Those things dont need much space at all.

These office/corprate features are now found in cellphones so there is less demand to hold yet another thing in your pocket. If you want movies and stuff just get one of those portable media center things that toms reviewed.

Some of your points are quite valid, but the niche in the market demanding a handheld multimedia device (High Perf PDA) is growing by the minute. 2.5" Drives don't cost a lot anymore, even for the fast ones - but you could easily squeeze a 4200rpm drive into a PDA without adding too much bulk - they do it quite happily with iPods and other mp3 devices?

I have to disagree with you about the batteries though - they are perfectly capable of supporting a small hdd. While the iPods of the world don't have high resolution LCD screens and power-consuming processors to support, they nonetheless cope just fine with really quite average batteries.

If you stuck a high capacity battery with a high performance PDA and coupled that with a 2'5" HDD, you would certainly have a high performance handheld computer, at the cost of slight bulk, and a reasonable price increase.

While they're there, may as well add an AV-In/Out port (possibly an extended battery pack) and some intelligent software, and you'd have a portable VCR that you could basically take anywhere with you.

Even worst case scenario, they could do what (i can't remember the name of the device) did, and separate the PDA from the HDD in the form of a 'backpack' so to speak - that the PDA plugs into the backpack and suddenly you have a bigger PDA, with hundreds of times more storage.

Well that's my take anyway,

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
March 11, 2005 6:19:29 AM

Yea batteries have gotten a little better I guess. My friends pda was a Casio E200 I believe.
It would be sort of a nice feature but for some reason I just cant picture it happening :( . Oh well, we will see what comes up over the horizon.

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
March 12, 2005 3:42:59 AM

MP3 playes don't have 400mhz processors or 480x640 screens!

Still there are phones with 1.8 GB hard drives so it can't be that bad.

What they need to do is give you the option of connecting to a portable hard drive with its own battery, preferably an HD MP3 player that you be carrying arround anyway.

Also they have developed a ways to make smaller lithium ion batteries with more power and vastly improved lifespan.

A lot of companies are working on the battery problem.
March 12, 2005 4:30:22 AM

Just get one of those portable media center things like the DVX POD or Creative Zen Media Center. That is pretty much a pda made for entertainment. Once you slap a hard drive and an extra battery on a pda it will be about the same size as those media centers.
Or just get that OQO thing, lol.

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
April 13, 2005 10:57:30 AM

If a good PPC (like the Axim X50v) had a 1.8" HD, it can do EVERYTHING these PMP, PMCs, etc can do. Plus it's a REAL COMPUTER. Try viewing a pdf, a GPS map, browsing a web-page (in full size), playing a Divx Movie, a 3D game, and accessing a SQL Server database on a .NET application all while multi-tasking!
I have no idea why no PPCs has a 1.8" drive. the AV400 for example has a big screen, a big dive, small & slim, enough CPU power to encode MPG-4 video in real-time, and enough battery life to play a movie for 5 hours.

To me it doesn't make sense though to compare PPCs with mobile phones. The phones need to be operated with one hand and small to fit in a pocket easily. The PPCs need a big high-res screen to see maps and web-pages clearly and lots of connection ports. So I guess comparing a PPC with PMP is a better match.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by enewmen on 04/13/05 08:01 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
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