Now that GSPDA’s Palm Os lineup seems to be dead for good, it’s time for a small obituary and a look at what went wrong. In Austria, it’s custom to start an obituary with a look at the past – here is a small image gallery about the GSPDA M28. The devices really weren’t bad – why didn’t they catch on?

Actually, GSPDA’s G18 was very popular in Austria and Germany – it was sold by a mail-order house called Quelle. The company never managed to capitalize on this, and thus was largely forgotten about. A second attempt was made by licensing the M68 to Hagenuk: the S200 sold well, but Hagenuk chose to retreat from the “crowded” cell phone market(quote from the CEO).

Interestingly, many Palm OS freaks never heard about the company and its products. But what what went wrong? Product quality wasn’t too much of an issue after the G18 – why did nobody ever hear about the GSPDA M70, for example.

The reason for this IMHO lies in GSPDA’s corporate culture – the guys absolutely didn’t care about public relations of any form. No press releases were sent out, no press contacts were available. In fact, Theo Poon once managed to grab hold of a rep at a tradeshow – I contacted them asking for a sample and was rebuffed after about two weeks:

Sorry for my late reply. Regarding the M70, sorry that it’s difficult for us to send a sample outside office.
However, we are eager to provide you any information about this M70.

Please let me know if you need any information.
Thanks very much.

As nobody actually used the device, developers remained unmotivated to support the machine’s special features…

The final straw that laid the camel flat came in the form of naming issues – the M70 displays Palm powered when starting up. Unfortunately, Access no longer owns the brand name…and Palm Inc probably wasn’t too motivated to tolerate a competitor.

Folks: I am perfectly aware that a bunch of freaks isn’t enough to keep a company alive. However, enthusiasts are useful as they generate noise and media exposure. If GSPDA would have invested a few hundred dollars a month in keeping its devices in the spotlight of online communities(the average monthly ad rate is about 50$ per news service) and would have provided samples (loaners) to interested reviewers, the company would have fared a lot better…

What do you think?

Related posts:

  1. GSPDA web site – down…
  2. GSPDA Xplore M70S = GSPDA M70 + security software
  3. More on the GSPDA XPlore M70 and M70S
  4. GSPDA M70 review – coming soon
  5. Hagenuk S200 EOL

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