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POCKET LOOX: GPRS module development discontinued [UPDATE: 06.11.02]
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 06.11.02 - 10:25:00 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News - Viewed 6585x
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According to the news at firstloox.org, Fujitsu Siemens discontinued the development of the GPRS module:

November 5, 2002: Wireless Wide Area Networking (WWAN) capabilities for users of the Pocket LOOX PDA enable greater flexibility for data and voice connectivity through the combined solutions of a Compact Flash card and Bluetooth enabled mobile phone capabilities.

As it has been the goal to offer best solutions rather than concentrate on proprietary hardware - giving the customer real freedom of expandability - the company will focus its efforts on existing GPRS hardware solutions for data communication and no longer pursue the development of a dual band GPRS Plug-on module for data and voice communication. Without giving away the original concept of connectivity, Fujitsu Siemens Computers will offer GPRS connection in the future through two scenarios: a GPRS Compact Flash card for pure data connectivity or the combination Pocket LOOX and a Bluetooth enabled mobile phone for data and voice connectivity.

Peter Esser, EVP for Volume Products commented: "Our shift in strategy in our PDA offering has been made in the best interests of our customers to meet their requirements for connectivity. The result is a more flexible solution which fully supports the vast range of application solutions for WWAN which are now available on the market - and for those to come in the future."

To support WWAN functionality Fujitsu Siemens Computers will focus on these two scenarios:

  • GPRS Compact Flash card for pure data connectivity
    The CF card solution is purely focused on data communication, enabling online anywhere and anytime communication. This solution maintains the Pocket LOOX’ slim form factor but enables the possibility to expand the operating time by attaching the second battery module. On top of that, it offers all the advantages of a tri-band device, expanding the mobility of users beyond the European borders. This CF card GPRS will be available from January onwards.
  • Pocket LOOX and Bluetooth enabled mobile phone for data and voice
    The Bluetooth enabled mobile phone gives users the same Wireless WAN connectivity as any other solution, but adds flexibility and extensive voice capabilities. The advantage of this combination is the free CF card slot, giving the option to use additional CF based solutions.
A GPRS enabled triple band CF card!? Sounds like FJS will use the Audiovox or Pretec card. However, according to the information above, this means that we will not see a Pocket PC Phone Edition integration and the already designed phone features of the Loox like the Send/End button and speaker on the top/microphone on the bottom will become useless. That's a disappointing development!

Unfortunately the time moved faster than the development progresses - it seems. When Compaq introduced the Wireless Pack 2 years ago it was a big step into the right direction and Fujitsu Siemens' further developments of this idea was a great one. However, with today's available Phone Edition devices this developments became more or less obsolete.

UPDATE: I just got the confirmation from Fujitsu Siemens that this news are correct:

We are looking at sourcing another solution, which will be CF based, though we may have to wait until a properly certified solution comes out in January.

I know that many people have bought Pocket LOOXs on the terms that they would eventually be able to get the GPRS module, however I know that we won't be leaving customers in the lurch over this, and a solution will definately be available as soon as possible.

At present, customers can still use the GSM/GPRS functionality through the use of a Bluetooth phone (if the CF slot is needed concurrently with data) with the LOOX, and will ultimately receive the same data throughput that the add on module would have given.

Cheers ~ Arne

Related Links : [Original Source]


 

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Comments
Posted by Frank Arnold on 07.11.02 - 00:00:00

Puh, that is a sad story. And I'm really feeling sorry, that I posted the pictures of this expected device on the net just a week ago. Sorry, it was not my intention to publish false information. At that time I still had no reason to disbelieve we would see the module in a few weeks time.

Frank

Posted by ladislao on 08.11.02 - 00:00:00

I can't believe it!!!

I will tell everybody, don´t buy anything to Fujitsu Siemens.

Fujitsu Siemens = company lies

From Spain

Posted by Arne Hess on 08.11.02 - 00:00:00

@ladislao: Yes, I'm with you that this development is pretty disappointing but keep in mind that this is at least a business decision Fujitsu Siemens had to do.
I'm pretty sure that it wasn't such an easy process as such steps always gives a bad reputation to the company but on the other hand you have to see that the Wireless Pack is far away from today's state of the art features. It was a pretty nice idea when it was designed and introduced but it's outdated now! I'm sure no one would buy a Loox today (after the introduction of Pocket PC Phone Edition devices) just because the possibility to add a GPRS module to it. There are better wireless Pocket PCs available and introducing a tripe band GSM/GPRS CF card isn't so bad. At least they will offer an alternative.

Posted by Anonymous on 19.11.02 - 00:00:00

The only reason why we decided to buy Loox'es
was nothing else than the GPRS-Backmodule.
Only with this module the Loox is something
special and outperforms anything else:
It (was promised to (!!)) has SD, It Has Bluetooth
AND it comes with a free CF-Slot!.
Now the loox is a bad Tosh 740, which also has
an SD and a CF, which the Loox does'nt have anymore,
because Siemens says "you should a GPRS-Card into that". (and the toshiba has a professional Display and Magnesium (no cheap Plastic) case.
Conclusion:
We  will protest against this marketing gag, which simply aimed at those customers who wanted to decide between competing devices. I#m shuer,
that less than 5% of the Loox-Buyers bought it because it is A FS- Loox, THEY BAUGHT it BECAUSE Of the promise of a GPRS-Backmodule.
So Loox-Owners: bring it back to Siemens and force them to deliver the promised Add-ON!

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