At the time of the Origami hype and the launch of the UMPC, I predicted that they would be a failure. I’ve used PDAs intensively for several years now, and I reckon I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I would want from a UMPC; and a cost of about NZ$2,000 isn’t one of those features.
Seems I was right:
“Samsung Electronics on Thursday unveiled an upgraded version of its ultra mobile personal computer (UMPC) in a move to boost disappointing sales.
Samsung, together with Intel and Microsoft launched the first UMPC, a very small portable personal computer, at last year’s CeBIT technology trade show as a third computer design alongside laptops and desktop computers.
“We targeted 100,000 units, but so far we didn’t reach that target yet,” Kyuho Uhm, Samsung’s vice president of strategic marketing told a news conference.
Ouch! Less than 100,000 units! There is no way this product will succeed, without sales, the price will be too high, and if the price is too high, there won’t be enough sales.
Samsung next year aims to sell 200,000 to 300,000 units of the new Q1 Ultra model which will be available in May for around 1200 euros or dollars.
Samsung said the keyboard, battery life, wireless connectivity and size had all been improved on the second generation model.
The device had also been given a higher quality screen as well as a GPS navigation chip, a mobile TV chip and two cameras.
H.S. Kim, chief of Samsungs computer business, told reporters at CeBIT that although first time users had no problem with the price of the UMPC, Samsung was thinking of introducing a low-cost version of the upgraded model.”
But the answer isn’t more features for the same price. I want something like the Nokia N800 with more memory and more grunt, able to use a fully featured web browser, with the media capabilities of TCMP on my T3; a 5+ hour battery life, wifi, BT, IR and a good screen.
I want to be able to use web based applications – these are both local (controlling my streaming media server) and remote (being able to access tools like InstaCalc, Google etc). I want to be able to view videos without having to sit in front of a TV or computer screen. I want to be able to read web pages offline, and pdfs and e-books at any time. I want to be able to view photos (not edit them!).
Something like a better Sony PSP at about the same price would be great.
The path that Samsung are heading down will be just as big a failure as the first model; the answer is not more features, but a lower price and easier to use product.