The Poway, Calif.-based company, which had intended to release a handheld based on Microsoft's Windows Mobile for Pocket PC 2003 software and sell it under the Gateway brand this month, now plans to hold back the device.
"We've missed our launch window," a company spokesperson said.
Gateway had, which was originally slated for a mid-July debut, until mid-August for further testing. Because further delays would push it past the mid-August launch date and hamper its prospects for the 2003 holiday season, Gateway decided to put the device on indefinite hold, the spokesperson said.
Gateway, which sells handhelds from Palm, Sony, Toshiba and ViewSonic, will continue to offer several models manufactured by those companies, the representative said.
The handheld had been part of a broader revitalization effort by Gateway. The continuing effort is designed to. Gateway wants to continue to make PCs but also offer a wider array of products such as digital televisions and home theater gear. The new products also promise higher profits than PCs, Gateway executives have said, aiding the company's goal of returning to profitability.
Gateway has said it will deliver 50 new products in 15 categories this year. While the company missed the mark on the handheld, it said it is still on track to meet that goal. It has already launched a host of new products, including a Gateway-branded. It has also introduced a new line of Gateway digital televisions, a connected DVD player, home theater equipment and a new line of over the past several weeks.
Gateway expects to continue to deliver several more new products between now and November, hoping for a big splash in the 2003 holiday season. The company has also begun remodeling its 192 retail stores.
Despite the indefinite delay, the handheld device may still appear down the road. Gateway may launch it sometime during 2004, the representative said, at a point when it feels the timing is more favorable.