Cellnet takes on HP Pocket PCs

Cellnet has struck its first Australian deal with HP to stock its converged handheld devices.

Handset sales manager, Michael Wallace, said it would initially focus on HP's range of wireless-enabled Pocket PC hardware, such as the iPAQ h6365. Wallace said Cellnet was approached by the vendor to carry the product because of its expertise in the telco channel.

From the distributor's perspective, HP's commitment to converged handhelds was a key factor in signing on, he said. The contract would also open the door to future product deals with HP.

"The Blackberry has done well, and Microsoft is making noise in this market," Wallace said. "We want to have products in that roadmap - for example, in the push email and wireless space. We want to be part of that."

Although sales expectations were low initially, Wallace said the HP partnership would help Cellnet position itself for the next wave of handheld take-up. "There are opportunities there with the traditional PDAs but we're focused on converged devices," he said. "The numbers are already starting to show people want wireless capabilities, like GPRS and 3G, with their handhelds.

"There are also a lot of HP aligned customers with PDAs wanting Wi-Fi or Bluetooth who are looking to upgrade to the next generation of technology."

HP Australia director of sales for its Solution Partner organisation, Martin Dare, said Cellnet had the proven experience and reach in the local telecommunications market.

"We have great confidence in their ability to deliver HP mobility solutions to their customers," he said.

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