Just as I was getting ready to head off to do some other writing, I saw this write up on the Wired.com website: OQO Model 02 Upgraded: Faster Chip, Faster WWAN, Faster Storage. From the OQO website:
Huh! Now, it's not uncommon for a new product roll out strategy to include higher initial prices (to try to recoup up-front development and marketing costs) and there's lots of chatter on the 'sphere about the tad too quick $200 price drop on the iPhone (leaving early adopters feeling like iDiots). But I think unlike the iPhone price drop, the drop in the OQO price is due to the entry in to the marketplace of other UMPC's.
SAN FRANCISCO – September 10, 2007 – OQO Inc., creator of the model 02, the world’s smallest PC running Windows Vista® and the first ultra mobile PC (UMPC) with embedded 3G mobile broadband, today announced new model 02 products with high performance features that deliver increased Anytime/Anywhere Productivity™ and extend OQO’s lead in the category. To accelerate consumer and enterprise adoption of the model 02, OQO is aggressively pricing its upgraded UMPCs starting at $1,299.
Bigger HDDs, New Flash Memory SSD The improvements to the model 02 product line start with a choice of high-capacity storage options. In an industry first, OQO now offers an ultra-mobile PC with a 120GB hard disk ideal for video, audio, and data-intensive applications. At the same time, HDD capacities have increased across the board: to 40GB in the entry-level model, and to 80GB in the standard high-end configuration. For users requiring an even more advanced storage solution, OQO now offers the model 02 with a flash-based 32GB solid state drive. The SSD provides up to 50% faster boot and application launch times, as well as increased battery life and the ultimate in rugged physical data protection.
Faster CPU Speeds and Improved Wireless Connectivity
The new model 02 delivers faster CPU speeds of up to 1.6GHz, another industry first in a UMPC. WWAN configurations of the model 02 are now available with higher-speed wireless connectivity provided by EV-DO Rev. A with mobile broadband service from Verizon Wireless or Sprint. EV-DO Rev. A offers data rates of up to 1.4Mbps, improved upstream speed, and lower latency. Users will find Rev. A particularly useful for online video, interactive web content, and bandwidth-intensive enterprise applications.
Due to increased volumes and new technologies, OQO is delivering the new model 02 with a lower price point or improved functionality at every level of the product line. The entry-level price for an OQO model 02 has been reduced by $200 (to just $1299) while increasing disk drive capacity by 33%. Additional pricing is available at OQO’s online store at www.oqo.com/store.“With today’s announcement, OQO further extends its lead in the fast-growing UMPC category,” according to Bob Rosin, senior vice president of marketing & alliances. “OQO created the UMPC and our new products offer performance, wireless and storage options that further advance our vision of anytime/anywhere access to information, applications, corporate networks and the full PC internet.”
Usually the market leader sets the price and, when others enter the market (and competition heats up), drop their price significantly to drive others, who can't afford a price drop, out. Trouble is, it drives out innovation and creativity as well. Oh, and the fact that the OQO was priced at the higher end in the first place (and the market isn't quite getting warm yet). The recent entry of the Vye mini at $1,350 (with an $850 model available) has got to be giving new OQO CEO Dennis Moore (dum-dum-dee!) a case of the shakes (is it any wonder, then that the price drop came simultaneous with his appointment).