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标 题: Compaq slashes iPaq's price tag
发信站: The unknown SPACE (Thu Jun 7 10:32:42 2001) WWW-POST
by Richard Shim, ZDNet News
Compaq is trying to get the Web-surfing appliance off the
ground by slashing $200 off its price--and including free
MSN Messenger service for six months.
A massive price cut for Compaq Computer's Web-surfing
appliances represents the slow leak in a once-inflated
device category that many industry watchers believed would
Compaq Computer announced Tuesday a $200 cut in its line of
iPaq appliances for surfing the Web. With the reduction, the
two models now sell for $399 and $299. The devices will also
come with six months of free MSN Companion service, which
normally costs $21.95 per month. MSN Companion is the
Internet access and e-mail service for Internet appliances.
The deal kicks in Sunday.
Compaq and Microsoft will likely still make money on the
products, IDC analyst Bryan Ma said, but the price cut
represents the latest blow to Web-surfing terminals that
Compaq spokesman David Albritton acknowledged that the Web
terminal market has not taken off as expected but that the
company hopes to jumpstart a market it still believes in.
"We've learned our lessons, and we're trying to increase the
appeal for this young category that we still believe is a
viable one," Albritton said. He would not disclose how many
iPaqs have sold or how many the company expects to ship this
The iPaq line was launched less than a year ago. But this is
already the second time Compaq has dropped the price.
Albritton added that the new MSN Companion promotion
replaces the previous $400 rebate on the iPaq with a
36-month commitment to the service. However, with that
rebate and another from Compaq, the cheaper iPaq model was
essentially free and the more expensive one cost only $99.
Compaq and others, such as Netpliance and 3Com, entered the
Net appliance market early on in hopes of catching a rising
wave of interest, but consumers did not respond. Netpliance
decided last fall to stop making the I-opener, and 3Com
discontinued its Audrey earlier this year.
According to IDC data, 150,000 Web-surfing terminals shipped
last year in the United States. Ma noted that part of the
reason for the lack of consumer enthusiasm comes from a lack
"It wasn't explained to consumers why these devices were any
better than PCs, which cost about the same and allowed them
to do so much more," Ma said.
Despite resembling PCs, Web terminals are much more limited
in capabilities and lack a hard drive. They are meant solely
for surfing the Web and handling e-mail.
The lack of success doesn't mean everyone has given up on
them, though. Consumer electronics giant Sony is expected to
launch its $500 eVilla device in mid-June, following two
Meanwhile, the forecast for the wider Internet appliance
category is not as gloomy as that for Web terminals.
Although Web terminals have not caught on, Ma said, other
Internet appliances such as game consoles, interactive TV
set-top boxes and handheld computers will likely drive
growth of the market.
IDC recently lowered its shipment projections for Web
terminals from 5.5 million for 2004 to 2.7 million for 2005.
However, in a report slated for release Monday, the market
researcher will announce that its shipment projections for
Internet appliances--excluding Web terminals--will nearly
double from 89 million in 2004 to 170 million in 2005.
Microsoft also announced Tuesday the availability of version
2.0 of its MSN Companion service, which new iPaq buyers will
receive and old iPaq owners can upgrade to for free. New
features of MSN Companion include support for broadband
access and the ability to have up to nine individual
accounts on the same device.
※ 来源:．The unknown SPACE bbs.mit.edu．[FROM: ]