Feeds

Bsquare axes WinXP GSM handheld

Sold too few, cost too much

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Bsquare is to drop its Power Handheld (PH) Windows XP-based wireless PDA. The company will instead offer the device's design to other vendors under licence and sell them the application and utility software it had developed for the device.

The company made the announcement just before posting a quarterly net loss of $5.1, $4.5m of which resulted from the decision to end PH manufacturing and marketing, through asset impairment and the cost of laying off the PH operation's workers.

Bsquare achieved revenues of $8.8m for the quarter, the company's second, compared to $9.4m in Q2 2003 and $10.6m in Q1 2004.

The company also it had paid $310,000 to settle a royalty payments dispute with Microsoft, and that too may have had an influence on Bsquare's decision to stop producing the PH.

Bsquare Power HandheldAs we noted in our review of the product, the PH is an innovative revival of the late 1980s handheld PC as a modern GSM/GPRS-enabled communications tool. The unit sports a high-quality 640 x 480 display and runs the embedded version of Windows XP. It was powered by a 400MHz Intel XScale CPU with 128MB of RAM.

"We sold a relatively small number of units and the ongoing investment didn't make sense at the expense of our core business," Bsquare CEO Brian Crowley admitted. Some of the devices were sold to UK mobile phone network Vodafone. PH was one of a range of wireless data-oriented devices the operator offers.

Essentially, Bsquare suffered the fate that overcomes many hardware start-ups - it simply couldn't sell enough units to cover the ongoing development and manufacturing costs and to deliver lower end-user pricing over time. It's a shame - the PH has its flaws, but it remains a solid alternative to too-small PDAs and too-large notebooks.

The demise of the PH leaves the handheld PC leaves the market open to the likes of Tiqit, OQO and FlipStart. HP too is said to be pondering a return to the handheld PC market. ®

Related stories

Bsquare Power Handheld
Vodafone UK to offer handheld wireless PC
HP moots handheld PC comeback
Dialogue demos 'total wireless' sub-notebook
Microsoft co-founder to demo always-on mini PC
Pocket-sized PC has PowerBook pedigree

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.