Friday, October 28, 2005

Motorola To Debut Handheld Computer

Top Tech News reports that Motorola will offer in November the first in a new line of off-the-shelf, handheld computers for mobile workers. The first device, called HC700-L, will include a color touch-screen display, Wi-Fi Bluetooth and the Microsoft Windows Mobile platform. "It has been designed and tested to military environmental specifications to withstand the rigors of everyday use."

According to Motorola, the target audience is "small and mid-sized businesses or agencies where workers are often sent into the field to collect data, make sales or do other transactions."

Paul Dittner at Gartner noted that Motorola has produced customized handheld devices for companise such as FedEx, DHL and the U.S. Postal Service in the past, but this is their first entry into the off-the-shelf market. He said, "In addition, because it is standard, it is possible to provide better customer support for the devic. When you have many difference software configurations for different customers, it is more difficult to provide customer support. The downside to this approach is, of course, it is not a custom device and may not fit the potential buyers' needs."

Carmi Levy at Info-Tech Research Group added, "Now, it [Motorola] can extend its investments and its experience across a wider range. As more generic classes of hardware manufacturing become increasingly commoditized, I would expect vendors to continue to seek out areas of specialization where they can still generate adequate returns while servicing key markets. This is at the core of Motorola's decision to move forward with this line of products."