HP launches five iPaq models

Mobile units include two converged devices and a GPS system

Hewlett-Packard unveiled late on Wednesday five new iPaq handheld devices, two 3G mobile phones, a GPS device it calls a personal navigation device, and two traditional PDAs, without cellular connectivity.

[ View slideshow: HP delivers five new iPaqs ]

The 910 and 610 use the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Professional operating system.

Although the PDA market has been shrinking quarter over quarter for several years now, converged mobile devices (PDAs that include Wi-Fi and cellular) are seeing robust growth, according to Ramon Llamas, a senior analyst with IDC.

"These are mini computers and for some it is a necessary enterprise device," Llamas said.

Although pricing is not yet firm, the 5.15-ounce iPaq 910 will sell for about $599 and will include four separate radios, a quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band UMTS cellular chip, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth, and a GPS radio for navigation.

For business users, the 910 includes a full QWERTY keyboard, Windows Mobile applications, and the Enterprise Mobility Suite, which is a set of hosted management applications. It also includes software compatible with Cisco's unified communications protocols, CCX (Cisco Compatibility Extensions). The display is a 2.46-inch TFT screen.

The iPaq 610 is also a converged device. It features four radios, including the quad-band cellular found in the 910. The major difference between the two devices is the 2.8-inch rectangular display, more suited for Web browsing and GPS. But the 610 lacks the QWERTY keyboard of the 910.

The iPaq 310, dubbed the Travel Companion, is a trip planner and a PDA as opposed to an enterprise device. It features only two radios, GPS, and Bluetooth, and it runs on Windows CE 5.0. The 6.6-ounce device has a 4.3-inch display and 128MB of SDRAM. GPS software gives user turn-by-turn directions with spoken word as well as on-screen display. Price is expected to be between $399 and $449.

The HP iPaq 210 model is dubbed Enterprise Handheld and includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It does not include a cellular radio or a GPS radio. Memory is 64MB, and it comes with Office Mobile, Outlook, IE Mobile, and Windows Media Player Mobile. The iPaqe 210 is priced around $400 and uses Windows Mobile 6 Classic as the OS.

Finally, the iPaq 110 is HP's least expensive device, priced at about $200. Dubbed the Classic handheld, the 110 includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with a smaller 3.5-inch screen. Included is the same 210 application software.

The iPaq 910 and 610 will keep HP in the hot converged device market game. However, holding the No. 2 market share spot in the dying handheld market -- defined by IDC as traditional PDAs without connectivity -- may be somewhat meaningless, especially given that Dell, the fourth-place market share leader, has dropped out.

Traditional handhelds are a shrinking market, Llamas said.