Compaq CEO Michael Capellas says that his company is experiencing a vexing problem with its iPAQ Pocket PC, but it's a problem other hardware makers envy: The company can't keep up with demand. In Davos, Switzerland, for the annual World Economic Forum, Capellas said that demand for the iPAQ is 25 times greater than supply. To help meet demand, Compaq has bumped up the specifications on the device's grayscale version (the best-selling version offers a brilliant color display) and soon will offer an alternate color display, which the company hopes will be easier and less expensive to produce.
"Over the next 2 to 3 months, we will continue to face demand in excess of supply," Capellas told Reuters. "You'll see us close the gap over the next 4 to 5 months." This week, Compaq introduced the iPAQ H3150, a grayscale model that features the powerful 206MHz StrongArm microprocessor previously offered only in the color version. And the company will begin fleshing out the iPAQ line with a version that includes a built-in cell phone, although Capellas wouldn't comment about its availability. In the meantime, cell-phone capabilities will be added through add-on cards.
Compaq's iPAQ has spearheaded a stunning revival for Windows CE, Microsoft's embedded OS for portable devices. Windows CE had been on death's door until the release of the version for Pocket PC devices, such as the iPAQ. And although iPAQ still trails market-leader Palm by a wide margin, this lead would be cut significantly if Compaq could meet demand