Everex Drops WinCE PDAs

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Everex, out of Freemont, Calif., has dropped out of the handheld PC market citing disappointing sales as well as problems inherent to the Windows CE operating system.

The company, which sold three Freestyle palm-size PC models, said there are still a few units in the channel at stores such as Fry's, but that the company ceased shipping and manufacturing in September, according to Brian Tien, VP of marketing and key business.

"The Windows CE business didn't take off as we expected so we didn't make money," said Tien adding, "A second reason was the LCD display on the device. The quality wasn't as good as we would have liked so the users complained a lot. We tried to correct it but the next generation handheld was a color display. We decided that the battery life for color would not serve the needs of our end users so we decided not to continue in the marketplace."

According to ARS Inc. of La Jolla, Calif., Everex never shipped the Freestyle 540 color palm-size PC announced earlier this year.

Tien said it was too early to state if the company would return to the handheld market with a different format.

Everex's departure from the Windows CE camp follows on the heels of similar moves by Philips and Goldstar earlier this year. According to ARS, "This Windows CE defection does not have the same impact as Philips dropping its Nino line of palm-size PCS. According to channel reports, sales of the Freestyle were not impressive.. It was difficult for the company to compete against brand names such as HP, Compaq and Casio for such a limited potential market."

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