Flipstart are re-positioning.

Posted on 05 May 2008, Last updated on 11 November 2019 by

I just wanted to clear up a story that appeared on Engadget this morning. Yes, Flipstart are retreating from the ultra mobile PC market. I heard from a contact back in Jan that the Flipstart UMPC production was going to be reduced, sales and support handed over to Dynamism and that Flipstart were going to re-focus on MIDs and smartphones.

Based on the current pressure in the mininote market, it’s probably not a bad move for a small company.

4 Comments For This Post

  1. Al says:

    They had a good idea but a very obvious and poor form factor. I predicted this the moment they showed prototypes. Yes there is a huge market for full windows in a small form factor but not their form factor.

    It seems so obvious that if your going to attract full windows users then you should look at how the huge market uses full windows. They use a touch type keyboard and the one mobile device selling hundreds of millions is a laptop.

    Thus just make a pocket version that can fit in a jacket pocket. You make it long enough for a touch type keyboard say about 7 to 7.4″ long. Then you look at the largest pocket most have, a jacket pocket and yes it can handle the 7 to 7.4″ but it needs a depth about 3.6 to 4″ and height 1″ or less.

    Nobody would choose a thumb input and especially not the bulky non jacket size Flipstart. The same logic will hold true in MID’s.

  2. i love pickles! says:

    Actually, I think that the form factor is pretty nice.
    I find that my end users can understand it and are not intimidated by it, since, for all purposes, it really is just a small laptop. And lets face it, half of my end users refuse to learn to type properly, so the keyboard isn’t an issue. I wouldn’t have been able to justify it for the full price, but when they went half off we bought about 15 of them…and people are clambering for more!

    After using it, I find that there are also a lot of little touches and buttons…it’s a very well thought out device from a pov of a user.

  3. Al says:

    Your in the minority as most people would not want a thumb based full windows computer. Flipstart could not sell many. The majority of the people will never buy a thumb based full windows computer. If OEM’s continue their dumb behavior of replicating designs that did not sell they will likely suffer the same fate as Flipstart and flop like a dead fish.

    Just look at all of the devices for UMPC’s in 2007 NONE sold very well as the entire global market of all brands sold a weak 350K. It has nothing to do with price, marketing, but rather a full windows computer and software was meant for touch type input period. Thus a mobile version needs to have a real keyboard. You can still make it pocket size by making them long and narrow 1/2 vga screens like the handhelds did with Windows ce.

  4. mw65719 says:

    Al (Primaz):
    I just commented on http://www.pocketables.net/2008/05/flipstart-says.html#comments, so I’m not going to repeat myself here.
    I might just add: The FlipStart UMPC seems to be the best example that price matters. $1999 was to high for (almost) everybody, at $600 people bought it. Unfortunately it seems that the company (or rather the product) could not survive at that price level. Therefor they are turning toward the MID market with its cheaper hardware. I am not too sure whether that is really the right way to go. There is going to be a lot of competition that will result in extreme price pressure. And in my opinion, MIDs (if you stick to the narrow definition) will not survive very long. They will fall prey to the same devices that also replaced most PDAs: Smartphones (the ones with the larger touch screens like the iPhone, the Samsung Qbowl, various HTC models, etc). More pressure will also come from web enabled PMPs (iPod, various Archos models, etc.).

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