The recent launch of 3Com's network-savvy PalmPilot VII in the US has initiated a move by the previously ostracised handheld technology into a broader market spectrum.
"The technology is most dynamic when run on a 900MHz Mobitex network," claimed Ken Kozac, 3Com's market development manager for Palm. "This provides users with a network link that enables them to access disparate mediums for information. However, Mobitex networks presently only exist in North America and some Latin American and Asian countries," he explained.
Despite this inhibition, Kozac anticipates that 3Com will release an international version of the PalmPilot VII, though a time frame for the roll out is yet to be determined.
The eventual goal is to operate in conjunction with the Internet over a carrier network, with 3Com launching Palm.net to link Palm users to the Internet.
However Sandro Hogan, sales consultant for Sydney handheld reseller Eworld, expects that "the handheld won't be due in Australia because of our infrastructure".
Aside from this setback Hogan perceives that the handheld market is expanding at a rapid rate. "The handheld market is beginning to move into the desktop space - a lot of corporates are buying these instead of lap tops," Hogan claims.
The shift to handhelds is only a recent phenomenon, due in the most part to the equality of the technology now available in the smaller units, Hogan added.
"A handheld can do almost anything a lap top can do and its lighter and has 4 to 10 times longer battery life."