Tech Buzz 07/03
Trouble in PDA
With a glut of PDAs of all stripes on the market and upgrade cycles that have slowed to a crawl, both prices and sales are down. Despite this, more very high-end and very low-end devices are coming out. A recent report by research firm In-Stat/MDR sees rising shipments of PDAs in the future, but with one caveat: only if they adapt and add more enticing features. Some of the features entrepreneurs may find attractive include built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, flash memory and wireless communications capabilities.
A good example is the Palm Tungsten W, which offers wireless data services and a built-in keyboard for about $550 (street). Entrepreneurs desiring only basic PDA functionality for themselves and their employees can find appealingly low prices right now for stripped-down Palm and PocketPC devices.
Otherwise, high-end features still command high-end prices. But if sales continue to lag, keep an eye out for good deals as retailers work to get products off their shelves.
Out With the
If you're like many growing businesses, you have a supply closet where your old, out-of-date PCs, monitors and assorted hardware go to rest. They're taking up space, and you know you shouldn't just throw them out. Now there are convenient options to help entrepreneurs do the right thing. Dell, for one, offers a computer recycling pickup service. For $13.50 per box, they'll come get it, then recycle or donate it (www.dell4me.com/recycling).
Dell isn't the only company trying to make hardware recycling easier. Hewlett-Packard will also come get your old equipment. Pricing varies from $13 to $34 per item (http://warpl.external.hp.com/recycle). Epson's recycle program comes in at $10 per Epson item. They send you a shipping label, and you drop it off for UPS.
IBM works in a similar manner and will take any brand for $29.99. Sometimes you can get money-saving coupons. With Epson, you get $5 off a future purchase at the Epson Store (www.epson.com). Keep in mind that for any of these services, you have to do your own packing. Still, with all these options, there's no excuse for leaving old equipment lying around. And please don't forget to wipe your business data off the machines before you send them on their way.