April 2011

Socket reports Q1 2011 financials
Socket Mobile reported revenue for Q1 2011 of US$4.0 million, compared to US$3.8 million Q1 2010. Net loss for the quarter, though, was still $928,000, compared to a net loss of about a million in Q1 2010. Socket CEO Kevin Mills said that "The increasing order pace for both our barcode scanners and our handheld computers reflects the improving economy, recent product introductions including our 2D Cordless scanner, and the phasing out by Hewlett-Packard of its 200 series handheld computers (iPaq 200 Series Enterprise Handhelds) in Japan." -- Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2011 by chb

Psion getting ready to ship the EP10 rugged PDA
Psion describes the new EP10 rugged PDA as having "all the functionality of high-end, full-size devices in a smaller form factor and at an affordable price." The 13-ounce EP10 runs Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5.3 on an 800MHz TI OMAP3 processor, has a large 3.7-inch VGA display, camera with flash, 2D imager, dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, 3.5G WWAN, an unusually full complement of sensors, good ruggedness specs and a full-shift battery. [See description and specs of the Psion EP10] -- Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2011 by chb

Magellan introduces a rugged handheld GPS for GIS professionals
Magellan, which is owned by MiTAC, the same company that also includes rugged PC manufacturer Getac, has introduced a rugged, lightweight and waterproof Windows Mobile 6.5-based handheld GPS computer geared towards GIS professionals. The Magellan eXplorist Pro 10 has a 240 x 400 pixel sunlight-viewable touch screen, runs 15 hours on a couple of AA batteries, and includes a SiRFSTAR III GPS module whose inherent 10-15 foot accuracy can be augmented to sub-meter performance via a supplemental external Bluetooth connected SBAS or dGPS/beacon receiver. Bluetooth can also be used to connect to an external laser rangefinder, and there's geotagging via internal 3.2mp camera, 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter. [See description and specs of the Magellan eXplorist Pro 10] -- Posted Thursday, April 14, 2011 by chb

Heavey RF backs Psion Omnii platform with initial 400-unit XT10 purchase
Psion announced that wireless mobile solutions provider Heavey RF has endorsed Psion's Open Source Mobility (OSM) strategy with an initial purchase of 400 Psion XT10 devices for its operations in the UK and Ireland. It is focusing on upgrading its existing customers to the new devices. [See Psion press release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 12, 2011 by chb

Handheld Group wins massive contract for rugged PDAs
The Handheld Group announced that it has won the contract to supply the Netherlands Railways with more than 10,000 rugged Nautiz handhelds, 6,000 of which will be the Nautiz eTicket Pro, containing an Arcontia RFID module. According to Handheld, this is the largest tender in the world for rugged PDAs in public transportation during the past year, and one of the largest in the world for rugged handhelds for all business verticals. The contract was won by HS Mobility, a consortium formed by Handheld Group with Dutch software partner Sigmax B.V. The Nautiz eTicket Pro is a specialized version of the Nautiz X5, which we summarized as "combination of powerful leading edge technology, a high-res display, a variety of advanced data capture and communications functions, and a tough but still compact housing make it an excellent multi-function computer and communicator for many commercial and industrial jobs" (see our review of the Nautiz X5). [Read Handheld Group press release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 12, 2011 by chb

Gartner forecast on smartphone OS market share
Since phones have become little computers and are in many ways replacing more conventional computers, what happens on phones is important to the computer industry, and especially mobile computing. While the definition of "smartphone" compared to a regular cellphone remains fluid, research and analyst firm Gartner says worldwide smartphone sales will be 468 million in 2011, up 58% from 2010. By 2015, Gartner sees 1.1 billion. Of major OS platforms, Gartner predicts leader Symbian vanishing (2010: 37.6%, 2015: 0.1%). Android's share rises from 38.5% this year to half of all smartphones, but then stays there. That's primarily because Microsoft will make a comeback, from about 5% now to almost 20% in 2015, largely due to Nokia switching to WIndows Phone 7. Apple's iOS has almost 20% in 2011, and will remain more or less steady through 2015 (17.2%). RIM, despite a migration to QNX, will decline from 16% in 2010 to just 11% in 2015. Our take: If these numbers are on the mark, then vertical market handhelds, which are now all Microsoft-based, may still have a migration path rather than a forced switch to Android. [See Gartner release on smartphone OS market] -- Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 by chb

Review: Trimble Ranger 3
The Trimble Ranger 3 is the latest version of a large, rugged, full-featured handheld computer designed from the ground up for use outdoors. It's a big handheld with a large 4.3-inch full-VGA display, a large 58-key keypad, a large battery that lasts multiple shifts, and enough ruggedness to reliably work anywhere. The Ranger 3 has a laser scanner, e-compass, accelerometer, 5mp camera with flash, advanced GPS, a fast processor, plenty of storage, BT, WiFi, and optional WWAN. RuggedPCReview.com put the Windows Mobile 6.5-based Ranger 3 through its paces and found much to like. [See full review of the Trimble Ranger 3] -- Posted Thursday, April 7, 2011 by chb

Full review: Handheld Group Nautiz X3
When you can't—or don't want to—carry multiple devices in the field you need a handheld that does it all. The Handheld Group's 9.5-ounce, Marvell PXA320-powered Nautiz X3 was designed to combine strong performance with extreme ruggedness and good value. The Nautiz X3, which starts at US$999, uses Windows Mobile 6.5, has a barcode scanner, GPS, camera, WWAN, and can also be used as a smartphone. [See full review of the Handheld Group Nautiz X3] -- Posted Monday, April 4, 2011 by chb