Storm clouds on the PDA horizon

A couple of stories discussing problems with handhelds. First, there's this article talking about a hardware screw-up in one of the new HP Pocket PC models. Apparently somebody screwed up and a 16-bit component was replaced with a 12-bit component. The result? The handheld can only display 4,096 colors instead of 65,000. Oops.

Of course, being a hardware issue there's no easy fix for the existing units; HP should decide next week whether or not consumers will get a refund or some other compensation. The whole thing is sort of an embarrasing snafu not only for HP but for Microsoft, since this comes hot on the heels of MS's whole Pocket PC initiative. I'm sure Microsoft is painfully aware that potential consumers might falsely conclude that a problem with a Pocket PC model is actually a problem with Pocket PC's in general.

Things aren't so rosy on the Palm front either, though if you're going to have problems, this is the kind to have. This article discusses how the Palm computers are apparently just too damned popular. Due to component shortages (flash RAM and LCD screens) Palm is having difficulty getting enough parts, especially in light of a seasonal increase in purchases, referred to in the article as "dads and grads" season.

The shortages are apparently impacting some retailers ( and Circuit City) but not others at this point; hopefully things won't get too bad. But again, if you're going to have a problem....

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