fyi Zipit Wireless device

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at
Thu Dec 10 21:28:07 EST 2009


> personal opinion, and (I realize) not politically correct:
> until we have WiFi for Nanonote, it will be have a very limited market

In this case it's not only politically incorrect (thanks for that!), but
also wrong :-)
(I know you are impatient and want us to be successful!)

A device can sell if it is _EASY TO USE_.
That's all. Trust me.
The market of plain simple electronic dictionaries is way over 10 million per
year in China alone, it might be close to 50 million or more worldwide.
Of course these devices are cheaper, but simply saying "will have a very limited
market" is wrong. Until we have a usable software image, it will have a limited

Think about it this way - if software and free included content on the Ben
would be as good as theoretically imaginable, could it be a kick-ass device?
Of course it could! And we are light years away from that right now.
Adding Wi-Fi would add a _LOT_ of complexity, to the hardware design (antenna),
software on the device (connection manager, power management), price. VoIP is
hard, suspend modes and incoming calls are hard. Closed firmware.
etc. etc. I have done all this.

Compare with 2 examples in the market:
Our friends from the German e-book device txtr just decided to remove wi-fi at
the last minute. The geeks hate them now, but as a business they may have made
the right decision to survive.
The Openmoko Wikireader not only has no Wi-Fi, but they even kept out the USB
connector! Take that as an example of leadership. And it is selling. I hope
they can make a lot of progress on the software, then the sky is the limit.

So anyway, we have our plate full with the Ben NanoNote as it is :-)


On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 09:13:32AM -0800, Ron K. Jeffries wrote:
> [fyi]
> the Zipit2 wireless device is in roughly the same space
> at Ben Nanonote, but has 802.11g wifi. Main marketing
> target originally was as an instant messaging device for kids.
> This puppy was born before the age of Twitter and
> ;) I'd love to have a wireless nanonote on my
> desk as a dedicated client. Sweet!
> personal opinion, and (I realize) not politically correct:
> until we have WiFi for Nanonote, it will be have
> a very limited market. Once it has WiFi, we could
> blow the doors off.
> overview
> interesting background article
> use case as a classroom device to administer tests
> earlier b&w Zipit as a web server
> ---
> Ron K. Jeffries

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