Our friend Chippy heard the sad news from two business contacts, all but confirming warning signs of fading contact leading up to it. While our long-time GBM readers will recognize the name from our coverage of them over the years, Viliv is not exactly a household brand. The ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) and mobile Internet device (MID) categories that were their focus were niche at best. Once the iPad and iPhone stormed their respective markets, they didn’t stand a chance.
Adding to their woes in the States was a lack of sales outlets. Until recently, their products were available here only through reseller Dynamism. They finally got into Best Buy last year, just in time to get overshadowed by the iPad. Yes, I’m sure there’s more to it than getting stomped by Apple, but it certainly didn’t help.
Official word on the fate of Viliv is still pending, as is the status of any pre-orders or existing stock they might have. But given all the signs, it’s a matter of when-not-if at this point.