Dell to slash PDA pricing

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Dell is going in hard on PDA pricing, looking to undercut competitors like HP and Palm by as much as 50 percent when its first handhelds hit the shelves after their November 18 debut with a view to bagging 25 percent of the Pocket PC handheld market by the end of 2003.

Dell director of mobile products, Anthony Bonadero, said the 40 to 70 percent margins of other handheld makers are excessive. "That's one of the things preventing these devices from being more widely adopted. Using our efficiencies, Dell can produce and sell them for significantly less, and that's what we are going to do,” he said.

"This is going to bring the Pocket PC down to the mass market level."

Bonadero said chose to be aggressive on pricing to quickly establish the company's presence in the PDA market.

Although unconfirmed by Dell, rumours out of the US put a 300MHz version of Dell's Pocket PC at US$199, while a 400Mhz version will reportedly cost US$299.

Despite Dell making its initial PDA foray with Microsoft's Pocket PC, Bonadero said a Palm-powered Dell is not out of the question.

"We decided to go with the Pocket PC operating system for our initial entry into this market. But with Palm porting its operating system to the Intel StrongArm architecture, the possibility of us producing a Palm OS-based model is not out of the question for the future."

Dell's Pocket PC's will reportedly be manufactured by former Acer division Wistron.

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