Five years ago: USR to intro budget Pilot

US Robotics (USR) is to release a budget version of its smash-hit Pilot PDA in the UK early next month

USR's Palm Computing Division released a 512Kb memory version of the Pilot in the UK in June, winning rave reviews and strong sales for the £349 incl. VAT device. While that version could hold 5,000 records, the September iteration will only have 128Kb and hold 1,000 records, but will cost significantly less at £279 including VAT.

Andy Cordial, managing director of Farnham, Surrey-based Pilot dealer Upgrade Options, said that the Pilot could be an even stronger seller if it were priced in line with the US where the 1,000-record version sells for $299 and the 5,000-record for $369.

"I don't think it's overpriced but the expectation has been set in the US where it's about $100 cheaper," Cordial said. "The UK market is a bit peeved about that. They're asking why it has to be more expensive here. Sales are already good but it would be very interesting if USR lowered prices before Christmas. It could go head to head with Psion and easily overtake the high-end handhelds from Apple and Hewlett-Packard. Up to now, a lot of people have stayed away from PDAs, but the Pilot is the first machine to offer true flexibility."

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