While it is a sad day, it is also a satisfied day for me because during the past weeks I thought about closing my beloved PPCW.Net Shop and today I made it true and completely closed the doors forever ( ? ).
With the first Smartphone sales promotion back in spring 2003, where PPCW.Net/the::unwired was one of the first independent, not carrier related shops world wide, (if not the first) who introduced a Windows Mobile Smartphone for world wide availability, I had such a huge success and generated so much interest for the Windows Mobile platform that many of you asked me if I will continue to sell the latest and greatest Windows Mobile hardware.
Because of your feedback and requests and because at this time it was way harder to get Pocket PC Phone Editions and Smartphones all over the world (which was the initial idea why i opened the shop), I decided to continue to make the "impossible" possible - delivering the best available Pocket PC Phone Edition and Smartphone devices to the PPCW.Net community!
However, as time goes by, unwired Windows Mobile devices became available broader and today, at least one carrier per country is carrying a Windows Mobile Pocket PC and/or Smartphone and you can buy these devices from online retailers from all over the world, including Amazon, expansys as well as local shops. For me it means "mission completed", I did my job as a Windows Mobile evangelist and I have the feeling that I did it well. Over the past 2.5 years, I sold some hundreds Pocket PCs and Smartphones and what started with a simple "order by E-Mail" promotion became an automated shopping system later. I made experiences with Credit Card fraud and I made some new and great friendships. What I definitely made are some great experiences in eCommerce.
Anyway - I've reached the point where I had to decide if I want to continue and grow - and if so, I had to hire some folks as well as a warehouse or if I want to close the shop. It never was my intention to become a new "Amazon" and for the beginning it was okay how it worked but over the months it became way to much work for a one-man show. Since I'm - in my daytime job - a consultant and journalist/blogger I had to make a final decision because I either continue perfect or I have to stop. With all the competition (and I never saw it as a real competition because you, my readers and customers are different from the standard Amazon customer) I decided to close the shop which happened today.
Since the shop was never my main income but another contribution to the community, it doesn't hurts me too much (in terms of income) but for sure it hurts a little bit, if you have to close one of your projects. Nevertheless, I can proudly say "mission completed" and I will - for sure - continue with the::unwired as well as with some other projects (like digital lifestyle mobile) I have in mind.
Last but not least, I want to thank you - my customers (some of you have bought every model I had in stock) for your trust, i-mate for being a great partner over the past 2.5 years and my girlfriend who supported me way more than I ever wanted to ask her. Thanks a lot all!
And while I have closed the shop today, I'm not gone - latest tomorrow you will read more from me and if you want to buy a new Windows Mobile device now - you have a way broader range of offers than we ever imagine when it started back in spring 2003.
Cheers ~ Arne