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Fossil finally ships Palm OS PDA wristwatch

Second-generation model launched

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CES 2005 Watch maker Fossil has formally revived its previously ill-fated Palm OS-based PDA wristwatch project - a year after it appeared to kill off the product before it even shipped.

Fossil Wrist PDA - the next generationFeaturing a redesigned casing, the Wrist PDA launched this week nevertheless remains true to the previous version's spec. Once again, there's Palm OS 4.1 on board; a 160 x 160 touchscreen LCD; 8MB of memory, 7.7MB of which is available to the user, and double the amount in the previous version; infrared and USB connectivity; 4MB of Flash storage; a 66MHz Motorola Dragonball processor, double the clock speed of the original Wrist PDA; and a battery sufficiently capacious to offer 3-4 days' usage.

Announced in November 2002, the Wrist PDA was to have shipped in June 2003, but a series of set-backs saw the tiny electronic organiser delayed until early 2004. The company laid the blame for the delays at the door of the watch's contract manufacturer, Flextronics. At that point, Fossil suddenly admitted that it probably wouldn't ship the product after all.

In November 2004, however, it emerged that the project might be revived.

The 'second generation' Wrist PDA, dubbed the FX2008, will ship under the Fossil brand, this time for $249 - slightly cheaper than the previous version. Again, a less-expensive, $200 version, the AU5005, will be offered under Fossil's Abacus brand. Both go on sale today, from the company's own web sites, retail partners and, in the case of the Abacus unit, online exclusively through TigerDirect.com. Fossil's erstwhile exclusive online partner, Amazon.com, was not offering the FX2008 or the AU5005 as we went to press today. ®

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