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Compaq almost doubles iPaq sales in Q2

Will ship 450,000-500,000 of 'em, exec claims

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Compaq's CFO, Jeff Clarke, has said that his company will ship 450,00-500,000 iPaq PDAs this quarter - 80 per cent more than Compaq sold during Q1.

This despite the problems Palm and Handspring have been having selling their own machines. Handspring last week halved its quarterly sales forecast following a significant downturn in customer demand. Palm hasn't been doing any better.

Compaq's surge has to be seen in the light of the problems it had in Q1 shipping sufficient iPaqs to meet demand. In April, its Taiwanese manufacturing partner opened a new plant dedicated to punching out iPaqs. Clarke's Q2 figure may simply reflect supply meeting pent up demand for the PDA. The real test will come in Q3.

They also have to be compared to Palm's Q1 shipment of 2,100,000 units, so even with the downturn Palm is experiencing, Compaq has some way to go before it catches up.

Still, it is a sign that iPaq is selling and selling well. UK PDA specialist seller Expansys.com told us iPaq is currently selling rather better than products from Palm and Handspring. The reason? With so little to differentiate PDAs, customers are buying PocketPC because it runs the same apps as their desktop machines, says Technical Director Matt Kydd.

Colour screens and stylish cases help too, we reckon. Palm will address both with its m505 PDA, but it will still have a hard time overcoming most users' instant recognition of the PocketPC apps. ®

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