WTF ... IS WTF!?
We are a collective of people who believe in freedom of speech, the rights of individuals, and free pancakes! We share our lives, struggles, frustrations, successes, joys, and prescribe to our own special brand of humor and insanity. If you are looking for a great place to hang out, make new friends, find new nemeses, and just be yourself, WTF.com is your new home.

Why the American PDA market went to shit...

Descent

Hella Constipated
7,686
109
157
#1
I searched all over the web for something that summed up why nobody buys PDAs anymore, so I just wrote my own:

WHY THE PDA MARKET IS AMERICA HAS BEEN BRUTALLY ASS RAPED

By JStager

Have you noticed how the Sony Clie's aren't at your local CompUSA anymore? The answer is quite simple: Nobody buys PDA's anymore. Sony pulled out of the market to save their skin.

The causes?

-Lack of innovation
-Smart phones do the same things, but worse

The reasons why these have occured:

-Fucking companies like Intel, ATI, and nVidia who don't make new, exciting chips, such as 3D accelerators
-When something "new" has come along, it's nothing but a refined old idea (i.e. keyboards)
-The fucking Japanese for not selling their super exciting models here (Like the Samsung with the 5-inch screen and Windows CE)

You can just walk into your local CompUSA and look at all of the PDA's. Go ahead. Notice anything? THEY ARE ALL THE FUCKING SAME. Same button layout, same OS, same processors, same amounts of RAM and ROM, etc.

It's become conformist. Tell me this: Why the fuck are companies like Intel, ATI, and nVidia not making their graphics accelerators for PDAs? It makes me want to fucking sceam! Mobile phones only huh? You can suck me sideways. I use my PDA as a gaming device. Guess what model it is? The Casio BE-300, which when launched, was one of the most crippled PDAs to date. It took the whole fucking community of end users to make it a decent product. I'm currently running eXpod 6.1, a hacked version of Windows CE, with a FULL WINDOWS GUI (That really seemed to vanish after PocketPC came out), and PocketPC 2000 compatibility. Have you noticed how those old Windows CE devices were so much fun to use? They were like a handheld computer! The new PocketPC devices are only marginally better than fucking Palm organizers (and yes, they are still organizers in my mind). I use it as a hand held computer, which it does a very good job of due to the fact that it runs Windows CE.

That leads me to this:

I see absolutely no point in upgrading. I can run Linux, eXpod, Bee, and a few other OSes on my PDA. It really is like a handheld PC! Now what about PocketPC devices? Nope. Nothing but pure shit, the PPC interface.

On top of that, there isn't much new software out there. It all sucks. I can't run any software on mine that is new (Due to the fact that I have a MIPS R4000 processor in there, the new ones use the Intel XScale). The truth is, I'm perfectly happy playing SimCity 2000, listening to music using WinamPAQ, and playing old NES games using PocketNES.

Now here's the chilling part: If a hardcore geek using a low end, three year old PDA sees no need to upgrade, then why the fuck should anyone?

As soon as that happens, you know why the market fucked itself.

Now how do we fix it? Let's follow the simple fucking four step plan:

1. Put graphics accelerators into them
2. Make alternative OSes
3. Come out with new and radical input devices
4. Create an option in PocketPC to use the old Windows CE interface (Which PPC is built off of).

This could really spark interest in the market again. The PDA's now are no different than the ones we had two years ago. The CPU's are the same speed, and the amount of memory is the same. The only thing that has changed is the OS, which has barely changed at all.

Fuck you HP/COMPAQ, fuck you DELL, fuck you Toshiba, fuck you Siemens, and don't forget to fuck ANY other company making them besides Sony. Sony was the only innovator, and even though they were doing a good job, it still wasn't enough to spark interest with the end user.

Now you all wonder why the market went to shit.
 

Jung

???
Premium
13,979
1,397
487
#2
jstager said:
Sony was the only innovator, and even though they were doing a good job, it still wasn't enough to spark interest with the end user.
i beg to differ:
Sharp Zaurus
 

Descent

Hella Constipated
7,686
109
157
#3
That's pretty cool, but I have a much better idea:

Stick a 1GHz Via C3 CPU in one of those. Put on Windows XP Embedded, stick in a Geforce4MX Go, a mini hard drive like the one in the Apple iPod, a couple of USB ports and BAM! Portable machine that could run UT99 and Quake 3.

The C3 emits about 2W of heat and can run perfectly fine wihtout a heatsink. The GF4MX emits 2W of heat and has the memory right on the chip.

The result? A bulky, but fucking awesome PDA that would OWN everything on the market.

Now THAT's innovation. The first "True" gaming PDA.
 

Jung

???
Premium
13,979
1,397
487
#4
jstager said:
Put on Windows XP Embedded
just no

and exactly how big would all this be? how large would the marked for this "gaming pda" be? would is be a wise busisness move with the psp right around the corner, as well as nintendo's newest handheld? nintendo has had the majority of mobile gaming share for a long time, and sony definately known consumer electronics. it's a good idea, but i doubt there is a large enough market for it.
 

Descent

Hella Constipated
7,686
109
157
#6
I would if I had the money...I would get a mini-ITX mobo and proceed to make it into a mini-PDA.

The PDA would look somewhat like an old handheld PC. It would have a 640x480 screen that would flip up, off of the mini-keyboard (It would not have those damn chiclet keys), and it would come with a stylus and a trackpoint. It would also have an SD slot for data I/O. Since the network adpater would be integrated into the chipset, a special dongle could be used to provide the network connection. It would also have two USB ports, making it easy to hook up your favorite devices. In the event you need 802.11B Wi-Fi access, a little USB Pen network adapter could be used. It would have two small stereo speakers that would flip out from the side of the LCD bezel. It would also have a slot for upgradeable memeory, via a PC133 SODIMM slot.

The main target market for this is people who want a mini-PC that can be acquired easily and cheaply. Since a Via C3 processor costs about $15 in bulk, and a 256MB stick of laptop RAM costs about $35 in bulk, and that a Geforce4 MX 440 Go chip would be very cheap to aquire, you could sell the thing for $350 and still make a profit. It would most likely cost around $100-150/unit to make.

Also, I just realized that this thing could easily run any OS. It would not have to be XP embedded. It could be a full fledged computer in the palm of your hand.

Now are you all seeing my plan?
 

MaxPower

You're my number two
Staff
16,850
3,349
487
#7
omfg pwned said:
why dont you make one and see how it turns out.
I'll just call together my team.

Technical Project coordinator
R&D department.
PCB designers.
Electronics engineers.
Programmers (several disciplines).
Ergo-design engineers.
CAD Team.
Systems Architect.
Several assorted contractors and consultants from many different fields...
 

ASCII32

Fresh Meat
2
0
0
#8
Stick a 1GHz Via C3 CPU in one of those. Put on Windows XP Embedded, stick in a Geforce4MX Go, a mini hard drive like the one in the Apple iPod, a couple of USB ports and BAM! Portable machine that could run UT99 and Quake 3.
Yeah, I've always wanted to play Quake 3 with a stylus...Great post n00b
Even if you had a usb keyboard and mouse, its a freakin 4 inch screen!!
EDIT: Great post jstager
 

Jung

???
Premium
13,979
1,397
487
#9
ASCII32 said:
Great post n00b

Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1 (1 posts/day)
ASCII32 is on a distinguished road (Rep Power: 0)

noob indeed, i'll give you some rep since you made me laugh.
 

Skorch

Destroyer of worlds
657
0
16
#11
I notice that you blame the Japanese partly for not selling their superior models over here. That's largely because US branch corporations are so greedy that they are trying to squeeze out every penny they can for every minor service that could possibly be provided. Some of the new cell phones and pda's (I forget which ones, sorry I don't really keep up on this) were built to support instant file swapping like photos and so on, but the company wanted to charge for that feature so they suppressed that and many other similar abilities. It's basically greedy corporations that are squatting on innovation to try and keep tight hold on the current status of the market to make as much money as possible that has basically slowed the US to be 3 years behind the rest of the world in cell phone technology. And since every company here is content to do this, none of them make the leap to try and get a hold of the market and drive the technology forward, because it's easier to sit back and be dragged by the consumers themselves than to race against each other in open competition. So much for free market capitalism.
 

Jung

???
Premium
13,979
1,397
487
#12
Skorch said:
It's basically greedy corporations that are squatting on innovation to try and keep tight hold on the current status of the market to make as much money as possible that has basically slowed the US to be 3 years behind the rest of the world in cell phone technology.
actually we're catching up in leaps in bounds in the mobile phone world. with the US release of GSM in the past two years, we joined the rest of the world in 2/2.5G technology. GAIT has become less and less common place in hybrid networks, as TDMA is being phased out. EDGE started rolling earlier this year and continues to grow in coverage area's. i know it's getting somewhere when i can get EDGE in louisiana. AT&T/Cingular plan on rolling out UMTS/WCDMA by the end of 05 (in some metro area's). Verizon and Sprint have benn trying to decide to roll either WCDMA or 1xEV-DO for their 3g networks. 1+ megapixel camera, smart phones, hybrid wi-fi/cellular netowrks, streaming video handsets, etc are all becoming a reality.

some links if you're interested:
www.umtsworld.com
www.phonescoop.com
http://www.3gtoday.com/technology
http://www.3g.co.uk

proposed 3d data speeds: (may be of interest)

 

Skorch

Destroyer of worlds
657
0
16
#14
Well, it's good to hear that we're catching up, but the progress is still slow when, for all intensive purposes, we should be ahead of the game. But as I've said, I haven't exactly been keeping up on this stuff, so I'm afraid I can't contribute much in the way of details.

One thing I would like to see soon is our phones with 2D bar code decription. That's one of the coolest (though possibly one of the simplest) features I think on Japanese phones right now (all of which are camera phones). They can use the camera to scan 2D bar codes that they have all over the place to get instant useful information. They have them at train stations at the turnstiles for people exiting the station giving them information about the area and locations of things that may be important. I think this just shows the difference in market penetration they have there, where such a large amount of the population have these features standard, that it is both practical and useful to deploy such a wide spread public service.

America may be catching up, but with all our money and supposed technological superiority, why are we even behind in the first place?
 

tzedek

Original Member
2,515
3
38
#15
Skorch said:
America may be catching up, but with all our money and supposed technological superiority, why are we even behind in the first place?

all we can build is bombs :(
 

tzedek

Original Member
2,515
3
38
#16
stager - ever heard of a GP32? Maybe you should look into those. :thumbsup: its mostly homebrew stuff but there is a fully developed divx player and they do run some hacked win.ce.
 
19
0
0
#17
Now we're catching up in innovation... that is sad. We used to say we were innovators and Japan was good at the boring production part. Now we suck at innovation too. Probably because you have to be a millionaire to launch a good idea into production. You're better off selling it for $100 to Bill Gates. Otherwise, once you've borrowed a million to start production M$ will copy your design, follow you to market and out advertise you 100 to 1.