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Fossil puts back Palm Wrist PDA launch to 2004

MS SPOT-based alternative still on time?

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Smartwatch buffs eagerly awaiting the arrival later this month of their Palm OS-based Fossil Wrist PDA are going to be disappointed. The trendy timepiece company today admitted that the watch will now not ship until early next year, The Register has learned.

The watch, which crams Palm OS 4.1, 33MHz Dragonball VZ, 4MB of memory, a stylus, IR port and USB adaptor into a case not unreminiscent of Casio digital watches circa 1982, was due to ship in the US 30 June.

It was announced last November, with much fanfare. The device won a Best of Comdex 2002 award as best mobile device, beating Nokia 3650 cellphone with integrated digicam, and HP's h5400 PDA.

However, a UK spokeswoman admitted that the product's US release has just been put back by more than six months. The UK release had been timed for the end of the year, but now no date has been fixed for the device's availability on this side of the Pond.

No reason was given for the delay, whether technical or market-related, The Register was told.

The device is being co-developed by Flextronics.

The Wrist PDA isn't the only hi-tech timepiece Fossil has in the works - it's also producing one of the first devices to support Microsoft's Smart Personal Object Technology (SPOT) initiative. Fossil's SPOT watch, which receives news and information across a cellular network - a sort of cross between WAP and push technology, with a touch of SMS thrown - is due to ship in the US in the autumn.

We were unable to learn whether the SPOT watch has also been delayed, or whether the Palm-based Wrist PDA's delay was motivated by the company's plans for the Microsoft-driven SPOT watch. ®

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