Cost and convenience restraints that limit the adoption of handheld devices as an e-mail delivery and receipt mechanism may be removed in the near future.
Ascendant mobile electronics retailer, Strathfield Group Limited (SGL) has secured the retail rights to a potentially broad reaching new piece of personal hardware which allows users to send and receive mail over any telephone line.
A new company called Pocketmail Australia has been formed by SGL managing director Andrew Kelly and the product's parent company in America where the products are being sold by Sharp and JVC.
Pocketmail Australia has awarded the retail distribution rights exclusively to SGL's various retail brands which include Strathfield Car Radios, Brisbane Car Sound and Software Today.
As well as taking handheld e-mail out of the realm of its current digital network centricity, this product reduces the expense involved to the cost of a local call.
The first models, which are due to be released through Strathfield-owned stores across the nation in November this year, are analog only. However, Vinod Christie-David, SGL's national marketing manager, said a digital version (which also works on analog) will be available soon after.
"At the moment anybody wanting to send and receive e-mails needs a modem and/or data network and that involves expensive call charges and hardware," said Christie-David. "We are confident there will be a broad appeal for this sort of product which allows anybody to send and receive e-mail from any phone without a modem.
"The main difference between this and other handheld e-mail options is that it is aimed at a wide target market whereas current alternatives are very niche," he added.
"Up until now this sort of availability of e-mail service has not been affordable because it requires data lines, personal digital assistants and the necessary software."