Fossil delays US Wrist PDA shipment

Release slides to 21 July

Fossil's Palm OS-based Wrist PDA watch did not shipped in the US on 30 June as promised and has slipped back until 21 July.

So says Amazon.com, which had an exclusive deal with the watch maker to offer the hi-tech timepiece online. The delay applies to all three versions: the metal strapped 'dress' Wrist PDA, the 'casual' version with a leather strap and the plastic-cased 'sport' watch.

Fossil's own web site confirms the delay, but simply notes that the 'dress' watches will ship "in July", and the other two "in early July".

Fossil's low-cost brand, Abacus, is also releasing the Wrist PDA with metal and plastic straps. According to Amazon.com, both versions will ship on 31 July.

Fossil's original 30 June ship date was first revealed by Amazon.com when it began taking pre-release orders for the Wrist PDA in early May. That release date was confirmed just before the device's launch party at Comdex USA last month after a comment from the company's UK division that both the US and worldwide release date had been put back at least six months. The watch's worldwide availability has been pegged to Q1 2004.

The Wrist PDA contains a 33MHz Motorola Dragonball VZ processor, 2MB of ROM and 2MB of RAM, IrDA port, a synchronisation port, and a 160 x 160 16-greyscale display. The 'dress' and 'casual' versions cost $295, and the 'sport' watch costs $275. The Abacus versions are priced at $200 for the metal strap and $180 for the plastic strap.

Interestingly, though the Wrist PDA is runs Palm OS 4.1, it nevertheless ships with the Jot-based Graffiti 2, revealing that the character recognition software can be retrofitted to earlier versions of the Palm OS than 5.2, the release found in PDAs that offer the new text-entry system. ®

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