PDA Focus: 3Com juggernaut more like a mini

Earlier this week Dataquest announced that 3Com's Palm Pilot had sold over 1 million units and had taken its place as king of the handheld computers.

Anthony Garvey, spokesman for Psion in the UK instantly turned on Dataquest's results saying "the reason why they've sold more units than us is because they are cheaper." Garvey says Psion - once the leading handheld computer in terms of sales - is certain that the advent of Windows CE based machines will not only cause confusion among consumers but will inevitably eat into 3Com's sales.

"By the end of the year there will be something like nine different machines using Windows CE," says Garvey. "By that time 3Com will be facing the juggernaut that is Microsoft head-on. We [Psion] have crossed the road and avoided them."

Garvey believes users will be confused by the advent of so many Windows CE machines and that 3Com's pilot will suffer as a result - a view not shared by Steve Baker, hardware analyst at PC Data in the U.S. "For a start, the Palm uses its own OS so I don't know how Psion has arrived at that conclusion. There is no evidence to suggest that sales of the Pilot are going to slow. As for confusion, Pilot owners know exactly what they want."

Baker said he believes Windows CE users will be confused by the sheer volume of machines due at the end of the year and the abundance of promises manufacturers will be making.