Saturday, March 25, 2006

While you slept I hunted down Toshiba's UMPC - your turn now!

While you were sleeping, Australia was still awake. Knowing that I was nearing Toshiba Utopia (UMPC), infamous bloggers like James Kendrick and Rob Bushway did some investigating of their own. It was mostly Rob that could not let this little Aussie Blogger get away with the UMPC scoop of the blogging era. Even though JK thought I should "get a life," I thought to myself "tonight's not the night mate, tonights not the night!" LOL :-)

Barely 48 hours had passed since I sniffed out a Toshiba UMPC and the blogosphere was ablaze. Most of our readers were not nearly as concerned with the significance of such news, but the inside crew made up of Warner Crocker, James Kendrick, the Uberly passionate Rob Bushway and I, were!

So what did I get up to today?

Today I rang Dan Warne, Journalist of APC Magazine Australia, and decided to get more info. Due to copyright protection neither Rob or I were granted permission to publish the article that sparked this riot. Here’s what I did found out:

[The following is a reenactment of the conversation – omissions are the small chit chat]

Hugo Ortega: “Hey Dan, tell me about Toshiba’s UMPC”
Dan Warne: “I know as much as you do.”
Hugo Ortega: “You conducted an interview with Toshiba Australia’s Product Marketing Manager, Matt Codrington, in regards to a new concept device. When was that interview conducted?”
Dan Warne: “Let me check my diary…on the 26th of January”
Hugo Ortega: “That explains all the veiled talk of Origami while other OEM’s are now touting UMPC. What made you write this up; did Matt submit a Press Release?”
Dan Warne: “No, I’ve known Matt for a while. We bumped into each other at the launch of Core Duo in Australia; over coffee we discussed several topics of which this one caught my attention! So I decided to run with it. I contacted him later in regards to the matter.”
Hugo Ortega: “Did you have a face-to-face?”
Dan Warne: “No, we conducted the interview over the phone.”
Hugo Ortega: “When I read the article I felt that it reeked of UMPC…you agree?”
Dan Warne: “Sure sounds like it to me! I’ve pointed Matt Codrington to your blog, let’s see what he has to say!”

Not content with my investigations I begged for more information – Dan put me onto Toshiba’s PR Person in Australia. Anonymous is a lovely girl more than happy to help; I dialed her number and started explaining my purpose. As she perused my blog, laughing at my Academy Award and jesting with my efforts to get Matt Codrington's attention, she realized that I was maniacal, Uberly focused and eagerly hunting information. She’s now pinging Matt Codrington on the matter so we can post his comments on the site.

I know were all excited but I need to ask you to leave Australia to me - it’s my Australia! As soon as Matt Codrington talks with Hugo Ortega you’ll all be the first to know. Till then do what you can with the muscle that is America. We don't want to intimidate the Bunny Rabbit, Toshiba, back into their hole!

Create polls and vote for free.

  • Would you buy a Toshiba UMPC?
  • How much does the Toshiba brand mean to the Tablet space?


CTitanic said...

Toshiba makes good LapTops but within the Pocket PC community their are well remembered by their Toshiba e740 and their bad Tech Support. ;) (there is a list of issues at the bottom)

CTitanic said...

I have tried to communicate with Toshiba many times over these problems, and was never even given an answer, much less a solution; therefore, this is why the next time I communicate with them, it will be with my wallet. I don’t care how big of a company you are, you simply cannot ignore your customers.

I'm bringing it to let Toshiba knows that customers do not forget.

So I really don't care about Toshiba coming to UMPC market. They could cause more damages to it than the goods things they could bring.

My 2 cents

Hugo Ortega said...

Hi Citanic,

Thank you for your feedback. Obviously you've highlighted the care that OEM's need to take in delving into new markets. UMPC is however a Microsoft inspired project (via Origami) that has supplied the major OEM's with Architectural diagrams and hardware specifications, so to avoid these circumstances where possible.

I for one would be pleased to see OEM competition occuring in the UMPC space.

Anyone else have a thought?

CTitanic said...

Competition from a company that did not how to take care of it's customers? From a company that did not have a Tech Support department well trained to help customers? From a company that introduced no well tested technology to the market? From a company that had to recall a product few month after releasing it to the market?
Excuse me, but that competition could damage more than what it could help this new category of mobile devices!
I have to admit that may be things are different there is AU but here in USA, Toshiba has gained a honor place in the list of the worse companies taking care of their customers. ;)
And the proof is here in the web. I could post hundred and hundred of links to pages and forums about this topic. Up to the point that we were happy to see Toshiba leaving the Pocket PC market in USA. And the fact that Toshiba left the Pocket PC market in USA shows you how consumers paid Toshiba with their pocket for all the bad support they got from Toshiba.
I agree with you in one point, it's good to see more and more companies joining the UMPC market but I would like Toshiba to stay away of it. I'll be glad to see Sony UMPC. That would be a very good addition to this new market.

Hugo Ortega said...

Wow Citanic - you're relentless aren't you? Let's not turn this into an "I hate Toshiba" seminar. Thank you muchly for your thoughts, they've been read and acknowledged!

Given the success of the M200 and now M400 I find it hard to believe that Toshiba is a right-off in the UMPC space given that all these devices fall under the Tablet PC umbrella.

You've been heard mate, you've been heard, thank you!

In regards to VIAO I am not a fan; everything about the proprietary software shipped with VIAO makes the devices perform rather sluggish. Aesthetics is the only reason I'd welcome a VAIO and that's never been a deciding factor for me, especially when performance and functionality mean so much more to me.

CTitanic said...

hahaha :D :D
Well, I'm happy to see the results in your POLL :D
About the Sony, I agree. I hate Sony for these crazy ideas for making things difficult with proprietary software but they are the top of line from the point of view of design.
I would like to see Fujitsu UMPC. That's another company that I would like to have in the UMPC NEW WORLD (I guess I shold say ORIGAMI NEW WORLD!)

Hugo Ortega said...

Fujitsu, yeah, that's a great OEM to see involved. What I don't understand is why other OEMs don't follow Motion's path of making duplicate devices only smaller. I think a mini "Stylistic" or mini "M400" would just be the ultimate look; specially when it comes to synchronisation time at home!


Matt Codrington said...


Great to get some coverage on your blog. Let me respond to some of the comments to set the record straight.

Dan and I had a great chat in January about many upcoming technologies and topics ranging from 802.11n to tablet technology and how digital content is shaping the needs of our customers. It’s genuinely important to Toshiba that we are planning the right tools and technologies that are useable and relevant.

You’ll know that Toshiba has a very strong partnership with Microsoft and will continue to push these boundaries to develop real productivity tools and easy to use consumer devices. I’m sure Dan will agree with me when I tell you that our discussion had many points of reference, and although a device like this is a possible extension of the next mobile platform, I’m not sure it meets a real need? Too heavy to carry in your pocket, and probably can’t be used for extended periods [outside battery life] with a 7” screen?

So…I hope I’m not going to disappoint your readers when I tell you that although Toshiba is going to continue to be at the leading edge of technology there are no plans to bring an ‘Origami’ type UMPC device to market. Having said that things are always in the works……

Lets keep innovating.


Hugo Ortega said...

Hey Matt,

Firstly let me thank you for showing up on the UberTablet blog. I welcome manufacturers to use the blog as a platform to talk to the Tablet (UMPC) community that eagerly sits on your every breath.

Your announcement, although disappointing to me, will be well received. One certain dilemma that blogging often creates is the misrepresentation of information; and so announcing a non-announcement like this is the best thing that could happen to Toshiba. Bloggers can now move their focus back onto another unassuming OEM.

Keep up the great work and have a visit soon.

[Anyone have any thoughts on Toshiba no entering the UMPC space?]

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