Advanced Portable Technologies will become the sole distributor of Handspring personal digital assistants. Handspring is dumping Vodafone in favour of a company more focused on distribution.
Handspring announced a distribution deal with Vodafone when it launched in Australia in March this year, but that arrangement has ceased, a spokesperson for Vodafone confirmed.
"We are continuing to sell PDAs, including Handspring, through our stores, but we will not continue as a key Handspring distributor, because it is not our core business," the Vodafone spokesperson said.
APT will take on distribution of the Visor handheld range and Springboard modules and has appointed Charles Martin as manager for the new division. APT's parent company, Brightpoint, is also believed to be finalising a relationship with Handspring in the US.
"Our relationship with Handspring is special because it is exclusive," said APT managing director Felix Wong. "As distributors, it will be our responsibility to help create the demand for the product in the market, and let the channel decide which solution is right for their clients."
APT is also a major distributor of Palm handhelds, as well as for the likes of HP and Casio.
Wong is adamant the distributor's relationships with Palm will continue. "We are still very focused on selling Palm products. Our market share in this space has grown substantially and we are continuing to build on that market," he said.
"We want to be able to provide our customers with every handheld device available."
Additionally, APT plans to change its branding to reflect the expanding nature of its business. Over the next few months, the company will introduce its new name, Wireless Data Solutions.
"What we were was a value-added handheld solutions distributor - we did some hardware accessories, some desktop software and so on," Wong explained. "This is broader; handheld devices today are a key part of the overall infrastructure."
The company will offer both convergent and non-convergent technologies, particularly in areas such as wireless communication.
"Our product line is more than handhelds," Wong said. "We will provide all the things that enable wireless data solutions to be sold. Brightpoint's business is much more voice-centric. Our business is very much an extension of that because we are data-centric."
New name: Wireless Data Solutions.
January 2001: Acquired by Brightpoint.
Based: Artarmon, NSW.
Vendor partners: Aether Software, Archos, Casio, Comtrol, Eicon, Ericsson, Handspring, Hewlett-Packard, Kodak, Madge Networks, Monarch, Nokia, Option International, Palm, Portable Add Ons, Pretec, Proxim, Puma, SanDisk, Socket Communications, Sumdex, Targus, TDK, Vadem, Xircom, Wizcom.