The title of the smallest full-featured Windows PC is still held by OQO, the tiny pocketable computer that has been around for a few years. I spent a good half hour with the newly announced Model 02+ early this year, the latest model that OQO was getting ready for release. That new model has not hit the market yet and rumors flying around a major OQO enthusiast web site have me wondering if it will ever be released.
We reported late last year that the CEO of OQO stepped down and was replaced by one of the company founders. While the reason given for the resignation was to “pursue other ventures,” when a departure happens at such a high level, speculation always sets in about the company.
According to a moderator on OQOTALK, the company is facing financial difficulty and times are rough:
I have been told by a few people in the know and also just from watching whats going on with OQO from reports on this forum. OQO is attempting to sell the company. It lacks the funds to keep going, cash is tight and work hours have been reduced. One has to wonder if it can still meet warranty claims as it starts to buy stock to build the 2+. I’m sorry to say this, but the 2+ might be the last OQO we see made. I don’t even think we will see it.
These are members of the community closest to OQO so this carries more weight than these sorts of comments ordinarily carry. I was wondering why the newest model was taking so long to get to market, especially given that OQO is basically a one-product company. They can’t afford to sit on sales of old products as they have been for at least a year now.
Looking into the company’s current situation further finds that European retail giant Expansys has stopped carrying the OQO devices due to a high return rate, according to what they are telling some customers. They are sending this email in response to customer inquiries about their canceling preorders of the new Model 02+:
Unfortunately eXpansys has taken the decision, due to uncertainties
to stock availability of the OQO Model 2+, to remove the OQO model
from our web site.
While we try to keep the information on our web site fully up to date
with the status of each product, inevitably in some cases we are not
informed that a particular item is no longer available until after we
have orders for it.
We apologise for any inconvenience.
Things don’t look rosy for OQO, but while we have blasted them for high return rates in the past we find the handheld computer to be extremely cool. We hope this is just a temporary situation for them and they continue to produce nice little PCs. Thanks for the tip, Dave!