Brighthand, a well known PDA-centric site, has an article bemoaning the loss of Toshiba from the Pocket PC space: Bye-Bye Toshiba! We’ll Miss You!
I say good riddance. The editor at Brighthand says that Toshiba was treated unfairly by consumers. From the Brighthand article:
Toshiba might have recovered from its troubles, but some people can hold a grudge for a long time. There are still those who go on the Brighthand Forums and tell people to not get Toshiba models because of what happed with the e740 and e330. This despite the fact that Toshiba realized the error of its ways and was one of the very few that put out Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition upgrades for its more recent models. Frankly, I think Toshiba has been treated unfairly. Yes, it made a mistake with Windows Mobile 2003 upgrades. However, as I said, it mended its ways. Recently, HP and Dell both refused to release Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition upgrades, but they got off practically scott free. I well remember how people talked after the e740/e330 mess. You’d have thought Toshiba shot their dog. On the other hand, the complaints about HP and Dell’s decision to not offer OS upgrades have been, at worst, politely indignant. All you people who publicly swore you’d never buy another Toshiba, if you’re going to be honest, you have to swear that you’ll never buy another iPAQ or Axim. (Looks like ASUS and MiTAC are in for a rush of new customers.)
The problem is, Toshiba’s customers felt burned when Toshiba continued to sell their e330 and 3740 model Pocket PCs through retail channels right up to and past the release of the new Pocket PC operating system, Windows Mobile 2003. Sales reps in the field, going on Toshiba information, were telling consumers that they would be able to upgrade their e330s and e740s to the new OS when it became available, and in fact Toshiba released new models that were technically identical to these units, but contained the new OS, but never released an OS update.
Personally, I was one of those consumers that was burned, and I’m still angry about it. I knew the new Pocket PC operating system was coming out soon when I bought my e330, but was assured by the sales rep that I would be able to apply the operating system update as soon as it became available. He told me this based on the best information he could get from Toshiba – they may not have told him that this was the case, but they did nothing to inform retailers that it wouldn’t be the case. It could practically be assumed since the specifications of the new model – the e350 – coming out pre-loaded with the new operating system was identical to the e330.
I managed to exchange my e330 at the retailer I purchased it at for the new e350 model about three weeks after my original purchase, and I received $50 back in cash because the new model was actually cheaper than the older one. Had they offered the OS update, I’d never have bothered with the exchange, which was not easy, by the way. Yes, I realize it was the retailer that lost out in this deal, but only because of Toshiba’s poor choices. The retailer should learn their lesson: maybe it’s not worth dealing in Toshiba merchandise.
Brighthand believes that Toshiba made good by learning from their mistake, and the huge outpouring of vehemence towards them, by being one of the only companies to offer an OS update to their latest models. Too little, far too late.
Toshiba, good riddance. I have to admit I still covet your m200 Tablet PC, but only because nobody else makes a similar tablet with a screen that has a resolution as high as the m200. But you can bet that I probably won’t buy one from you.