Fossil Wrist PDA delayed to 30 Sept.

Embarrassing

Watch maker Fossil has put back the release of its much-anticipated Palm OS-based Wrist PDA to September, according to Amazon.com

The delay is surely something of an embarrassment for the company, which recently promised the product would ship on 30 June.

That promised followed our story, based on an official statement from the watch maker's UK subsidiary, that the timepiece's US release had been delayed until early next year.

No, we were subsequently told emphatically by Fossil US, the Wrist PDA will ship on 30 June. However, overseas customers will have to wait until Q1 2004, it admitted.

Come 30 June and there were no Wrist PDAs to be had. Amazon.com, which until that point at least was offering the Wrist PDA on an exclusive basis, moved the ship date back to 21 July. Fossil's own web site put the release date down as "later this month".

Checking today, 21 July, we see that Amazon has put back the ship date to 30 September - a full three months after the timepiece was supposed to become available. The device's entry in Fossil's online store catalogue appears to have been removed.

Now that's not the six month delay we had originally been told about by Fossil UK, but it's bad enough.

According to Fossil US, it had put the international release date back to Q1 2004 because of "unexpectedly high order volume among US retailers and distributors over the past six months" which forced it to "re-purpose our international stock and delay the product's overseas debut".

Buyers expecting their Wrist PDAs to ship this month and who will now have to wait until October effectively will be justified in asking, 'what international stock?'

At the time of writing, Amazon was still saying the two Abacus versions of the timepiece - Abacus is Fossil's budget brand - would ship on 31 July.

The Fossil-branded Wrist PDA is will come in three versions, with a metal, leather and plastic strap, and coded the FX2005, FX2004 and FX2003, respectively. We hope the code numbers don't refer to each watch's release date. ®

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