Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Handheld Upgrade Conundrum

IT Management reports that not everyone is rushing to upgrade to latest and greatest handsets. The article examines one company that is standardized on the Palm (PALM) Treo 650 and seemingly in no rush to upgrade to the new Treo 700p., which offers more memory, a faster 3G data network and other features.

Jack Gold at J. Gold Associates said, "It is a significant upgrade. The 650 … has been around a while and the useful life on a device is 12 to 18 months these days. The upgrade cycle is there anyway."

Gold believed "users who upgrade will be split almost evenly between the 700p, which uses Palm’s proprietary operating system, and the 700w, a Windows-based device Palm introduced in January." He said, "The real question is if a company is going to buy a standard device, will it be the 700p? That’s not clear."

Commenting on the Treo 700p's upgrades, Gold said, “Are these revolutionary improvements? Have they lifted the bar 16 feet in the air from where they were? No, but they’ve made enough improvements where this will be attractive to people. I think they will do very well with this device on an upgrade cycle from people who have had 650 and want something new but not a completely revolutionary device."

The article offers a nice look at what an enterprise has to go through when considering upgrading handsets for its employees. In this case, this company has the right top-down, enterprise-centric approach instead of being end-user driven...