An additional feature of ConneCtor is its ability to establish wireless links to other ConneCtors for voice and data transfer or to cell phones for voice transfer. For direct data transfer, the product includes an infrared port and also ships with a USB synchronization cradle. In summary, the key features of ConneCtor are: • Instant communication for voice and data • Cell phone, pager, fax and e-mail, and instant messaging • PIM functions • Digital voice recorder • Enabled voice commands • PalmOS application base. The History of the PDA
The Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) is basically a hand-held computer. In 1984, the first PDA, the Psion1, was introduced. It could store addresses and phone numbers, keep a calendar, and included a clock and calculator. In 1993, Apple introduced the Newton PDA, which was too bulky, too expensive and had handwriting recognition too inaccurate to be successful. However, the excitement surrounding the Newton hinted that there could be a market for such devices. The broad acceptance of PDA technology then materialized in 1996, when Palm Inc. ame out with the Palm Pilot that featured an elegant user interface and a reliable character-recognition system. By 2001, PDAs had evolved to offer many applications including wireless Internet capabilities, games and music playback. PDAs are designed for very specific tasks and environments: there are custom-built PDAs for amateur astronomers, truck drivers and teachers. In addition, there is specialized software available to fit specific needs; for example, people in the medical fields can obtain software that lists thousands of drugs with their dosages and interactions.
The cell phone industry is devastated by increasing competition and the declining economy. The customer service department in the cell phone industry is rising to levels that are leading AT&T’s management to evaluate options to promote sales during this tough economic time. The focus of AT&T to survive, continue to be competitive and make a profit. The recent histories of struggles they ...
PDA Types The 2001 palm-sized PDA market was mainly composed of two types, each with its own philosophy: (1) the PDA/Palm devices run PalmOS, whose developers sought to make PDAs simple but functional products focusing on Personal Information Management (PIM) tasks; (2) the PDA/Pocket PCs run the more complex operating system, Microsoft Windows CE, which allows these PDAs to offer 1 Source: Marketing Engineering – Lilien and Rangaswamy extensive features. In addition, “smart” phones are breaking into the PDA world.
These wireless application protocol phones extend traditional cell phones with PDA functions such as email and Web access. The original Palm Pilot embodied the PDA/Palm design mission. It provided a simple organizational device, composed of a calendar, an address book and a to-do list with e-mail and Internet access. It also had a character-recognition system that worked for most people. Handspring, Palm’s biggest competitor, introduced snap-on modules to expand the Handspring Visor and allow many applications, including an MP3 player, a web cam and digital camera.
These features appealed to the youth market and enabled Handspring to gain considerable market share. In 2001, Palm also offered this same degree of expandability and was able to maintain a market share of more than two thirds; in addition, all of Palm’s close competitors licensed its operating system, PalmOS. Several electronic manufacturers have developed similar devices; for example, Sony introduced Clie as a direct competitor to Palm and Handspring. PocketPCs make up the other group of PDAs, whose manufacturers include Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Psion and Casio.
These hand-held computers come with a large application suite of pocket Windows applications, e. g. , a scaled down version of MS Office. They usually come with more memory than PDA/Palms and with a range of accessories to be added to the devices (e. g. , digital cameras, web ams).
However, they are bulkier, heavier and more expensive. In contrast, PDA/Palms perform basic tasks very well and, unlike the PocketPCs, synchronize with non-Windows systems. A new technological thrust in 2001 involved the adoption of wireless technology for the PDA with manufacturers trying to assess if and how to add wireless capabilities.
Market segmentation is a crucial marketing strategy. Its aim is to identify and delineate market segments or “sets of buyers” which would then become targets for the company’s marketing plans. The advantage to marketing management is that Ais technique divides total demand into relatively homogeneous segments which are identified by some common characteristics. These ...
Wireless technology would make synchronization possible without docking, making PDAs true communication tools. AT&T, Nokia and other cellular phone companies have started developing wireless phones with some PDA functions. The PDA Customer As PDA designs have evolved, manufacturers have targeted different segments based on differing lifestyle and business needs. Palm initially captured innovators – people eager to adopt a new gadget. A typical early PDA user was a professional, high-income male. He was over 30 and probably worked in a technology field.
Even as of September 2000, 93 percent of PDA users were male, according to IDC, a Massachusetts technology consulting firm. Another major group of users is the mobile professional. Since this group frequently needs access to e-mail and the Internet while away from the office, it is also driving progress on the wireless front. A recent study by the University of California at Berkeley indicated that nearly half of the users had a technical job dealing with computers, and the overwhelming majority of the respondents rated hemselves as technically sophisticated.
To attract more mainstream buyers in 2001, companies were working on increasing the usability of the PDA and its general appeal to non business users. For example, the new Claudia Schiffer Palm (sold via her Web site) is supposed to give Palm a sexier image, and Handspring’s Visor line comes in many colors. Palm’s affordable M series ($150) targets college students and other nonprofessional consumers. It is expected that such efforts will eventually open up the largely untapped young consumer and female markets.
However in 2001, it appeared unlikely that the bulk of the mainstream population would enthusiastically embrace the PDA. A PDA was still relatively pricey and fairly limited. Handwriting recognition was slow and lacked quality, and keyboard facilities were either non-existent, too big to carry or too small to use. The display screen was too small for most applications other than text display. Internet connections were generally both slow and expensive. In addition, the mainstream market appeared to have little need for many of the more sophisticated features the PDAs were able to offer.
When it comes to marketing strategies, most people spontaneously think about the 4P (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) ¡V maybe extended by three more Ps for marketing services (People, Processes, Physical Evidence).Market segmentation and the identification of target markets, however, are an important element of each marketing strategy. They are the basis for determining any particular marketing ...
PDA Features Given all the available design options, new product entries must make tradeoffs between features. Customers want easy portability, but with more functions the PDA becomes heavier and bulkier. PDA users’ needs are heterogeneous. Those who are looking for a high-tech way to store contact and appointment data may be satisfied with the basic models that cost $200 or less. They also are likely to prefer to keep a PC and cell phone separately rather than having an integrated PDA system that could do both.
Users who plan to use the PDA as an extension of a PC by creating and accessing documents, sending e-mail, and doing basic Web surfing, might consider a Pocket-PC in the range of $350–$600. The appendix provides more details on PDA features. Facts about the PDA Market In 2001, many companies participated in the PDA market, bringing in a variety of new products designed to appeal to new audiences. The market was changing and growing rapidly. PDA unit sales totaled 1. 3 million in 1999 and more than doubled, totaling 3. 5 million in 2000 (Source: NPD INTELECT in Business 2. 0).