• United States

Samsung, Microsoft design cheap Pocket PC PDA

Nov 12, 20022 mins
MicrosoftMobileSmall and Medium Business

Microsoft and Samsung Semiconductor are working on concept designs for PDAs, aiming to bring down the price of handhelds based on Microsoft’s Pocket PC software, the companies said in a statement Monday.

Electronics makers will be able to cut the cost of development and get to market quicker by using the ready-made PDA designs, the companies said. The first concept design, announced Monday, is for “an ultra low cost” and “ultra small” Pocket PC.

The design incorporates a Samsung ARM9-based S3C2410 application processor, Microsoft’s Windows Powered Pocket PC software and a 3.5 inch QVGA grayscale or color display. Expansion capabilities are offered through MultiMedia Card, Secure Digital and Secure Digital I/O slots, according to the Microsoft and Samsung statement.

A device made using the grayscale display design would measure 4.1 inches by 2.8 inches (10.4 centimeters by 7.1 centimeters) and weigh 2.9 ounces (90 grams), the companies said. In comparison, Palm’s Zire, a recently announced $99 entry-level PDA, measures 4.4 inches by 2.9 inches (11.2 centimeters by 7.4 centimeters) and weighs 3.8 ounces (118 grams), according to Palm’s Web site.

The companies did not give any indication of what the street price for a PDA built using the design might be.

The concept designs are an attempt to help Microsoft in its battle with PalmSource Inc. for market share on the PDA market. In the third quarter of this year, 50.2 percent of PDAs shipped worldwide ran the Palm OS, compared to 28.3% using Microsoft’s software. In the U.S. market, Palm OS comprised 69.5 percent of all PDA shipments, with Microsoft trailing with 19.7 percent, according to Dataquest, a unit of research company Gartner.

Samsung Semiconductor in San Jose, is a subsidiary of Seoul Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Microsoft of Redmond, Wash., and Samsung did not announce any takers for their PDA designs, nor did they say if Samsung would make a PDA based on the designs. Representatives for the companies were not immediately available for comment.