Feeds

Philips cans Velo, bows out of WinCE

Bound to flee to Symbian - but will it be welcome?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Philips is dumping Windows CE along with its Nino handheld because of poor sales and tough competition from Palm. Philips says the market was smaller than expected, but that's a question of market definition. Palm sales are healthy enough, so perhaps it's the CE market that is too small and highly competitive at that, what with Casio, HP and Compaq panting away. The truth seems to be that the market for Windows CE handhelds is pretty colourless, even after the introduction of colour. Palm of course recently responded with its own colour announcement. A Philips spokeswoman told The Register it sees the market going quickly towards the integration of handhelds and mobile phones, and that an announcement of a WAP device is imminent. Now could it be that Philips is changing its status from being a drinking member of the Symbian club to a fully paid-up member? We suspect so, but Philips is not confirming this yet. The company might however have a problem getting in at a shareholder level. Symbian now professes itself happy with its current global clutch of stakeholders, it's got three in Europe already, so the door may well be closed. Philips mobile phone group is now running the show, with the expectation that the company will be focussing more on voice products and small cell phones. Although reports of the death of CE would be premature, it is looking in poor health. Palm's decision to license its operating system to competitors may well prove to have been an intelligent idea, and avoid the problem that Apple faced earlier in its development. Microsoft's reaction was pretty low key, with mutterings about brand or channel strategy. The clam-shell Velo, another CE handheld first shown in prototype at Comdex in 1996, was very quickly sent on its bike. One model, the 8MB Velo, was only sold online in the US, with Philips saying it "couldn't be more pleased with the success of the Velo Store". A more likely tale was that Philips found the US retail market very tough. Philips is collaborating with Microsoft with a set-top box for WebTV, and TV-Pak software, but is also involved with AOL's AOL TV project. The unusually quick decision by Philips to snuff-out Velo would appear to be one of the results of the company's desire to increase profitability by reaching a target return on net assets of 24 per cent. There has been increasing pressure for the group to be split up, which the company resists by claiming that the brand name brings added value to the group. Of course there is no real reason why the company could not be split into mini-Philips with separate accounting, especially as until recently it broke down its revenue by division. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.