OQO May Be Shutting Down

OQO will be shutting its doors before shipping the OQO Model 2+ according to industry sources. Bob Rosin, OQO’s SVP of sales and marketing, told the Wall Street Journal that the company is facing a cash crunch, has reduced work hours and is actively looking for a buyer.

We’re fans of OQO and really hope the situation improves, but things are looking grim. Apparently the company is virtually out of cash and the company will not say when the Model 2+ will ship. There’s an estimated ship date of May 2009 listed on the Model 2+ product page, but the WSJ article points out that the target will most likely be missed.

I called an OQO spokesperson, who could not offer   a timeline of when of when/if the Model 2+ would ship. I pointed out that OQO still lists May 2009 as the expected ship date for pre-orders on its web site. She said tha the company’s never promised when it woud ship by and couldn’t offer a timeline.

Industry insiders, including a couple of OQO partners, have told me they don’t expect the OQO Model 2+ to ship at all. The surging popularity of cheaper devices and the Model 2+’s non-standard components have made it even more challenging for OQO to continue doing business.

I asked the spokesperson to confirm or deny whether or not would be shutting down and she said she could not. I was hoping she would tell me that the company was in not shutting down, and in fact had some good news to share with us in the near future.

Unfortunately, it appears OQO is on its last legs and we can expect some bad news in the coming days or weeks, barring a last-minute buyout. Calls to OQO’s direct sales phone number goes directly to a voicemail message that provides service information. Calls to their corporate sales lines go directly to voicemail that promotes the OQO Model 1.

News of OQO’s financial difficulty came to light after a moderator at OQO Talk started a discussion on the subject and James Kendrick from jkOnTheRun confirmed that Expansys canceled all OQO 2+ pre-orders.

11 Comments

  1. scoobie

    04/16/2009 at 1:42 pm

    Very sad. A victim of three factors – their own quality control, distribution and pricing strategy, the iphone and other smartphones creeping in on their space, and netbooks looking like better value devices at the other end.

    I hope we will see the oqo02+ but it is touch and go it seems. The IPR in that must be worth something to someone to manufacture

    Reply

  2. Genjinaro

    04/16/2009 at 3:05 pm

    Thats where OQO fails, they needed a low-end model, I’ve always wanted an OQO, love the form factor but the cost was always beyond my income.

    Reply

  3. Andre

    04/16/2009 at 6:06 pm

    Yes – very pricey but I really wanted the 02 when it first came out. I couldn’t afford it in a good economy. I guess the netbook claims another victim

    Reply

  4. Terrance

    04/16/2009 at 11:15 pm

    The new model is just as unimpressive as the other versions to me. A thumb keyboard is fine for my pocket pc computer needs. Yet for full Windows programs using two fingered hunt and peck is just not even an option. What was OQO thinking? that somehow everyone would want to take 10 times as long to input information and want to use something other than a keyboard? They deserve to go bankrupt.

    Reply

  5. TateJ

    04/17/2009 at 6:50 am

    I have to agree with Genjinaro. I alaways wanted on to play with, but they were to expensive. Maybe I’ll pick one up on ebay in a few months.

    Reply

  6. James

    04/17/2009 at 11:42 am

    The basic flaw is to believe that people would want to do the kinds of work they do with a full laptop using your thumbs? That basic assumption is what has doomed OOQ since they started years ago. Updating anything in the computer without addressing that basic key assumption which is wrong will never create any demand.

    People would be willing to sacrafice and use a smaller screen, not have all of the frills of large laptop, but even anticipating a tighter position with your two hands to type, people would never want to use a two fingered approach to performing PC work. They should have used a traditional handhelds clamshell design.

    Those handhelds back in the 1990’s were the perfect size to carry and use. Their only flaw was nobody at that time could fit a full PC into that small cavity. Now technology can enable that but so far all of the computer companies have forgotton about the basic way we want to use a computer.

    Reply

  7. Fernando

    04/17/2009 at 2:50 pm

    Hmmm, I wonder if they’ll be able (or willing) to sell whatever stock they have produced of the 2+ model.

    Just for curiosity, how much cash are they short, i.e., what is the buyout dollar amount?

    Reply

  8. Eve

    04/17/2009 at 5:26 pm

    Too bad, I was looking forward to affording an OQO in the future, the small size and active digitizer being the main selling points for me. (now if it were a 7 inch screen I would truly be in mourning.)

    Reply

  9. GoX

    04/19/2009 at 2:01 pm

    Hopefully this will come to the rescue: the iTablet

    Next Apple moves will be Books and Games…
    http://spidouz.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/next-apple-moves-will-be-books-and-games

    Or alternatively Apple buys OQO.

    Reply

  10. Furniture4u

    04/19/2009 at 3:38 pm

    Why would I buy an OQO when a Pocket PC does the same and is easier and cheaper to use? If the OQO was more of a keyboard based handheld then its more powerful PC features would be worth something. I toyed with the idea to use in stead of a laptop but the keyboard was just a deal breaker. I like the idea of one day having a pocket laptop but there are no such options today.

    Reply

  11. PeterBoss302

    04/20/2009 at 12:21 pm

    I do not think they will survive as the product needs so much work to be a sellable product. I agree with others here that first off they need to change the design to provide a touch type keyboard, then they need to fix the reliability issues, and try to reduce the price a little. With that many problems I doubt someone would infuse more cash and let the current management run things. The chance someone buys it for the technology is small and they would have to sell it for a song. Too bad as it is probably the last American UMPC?

    Reply

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