By August 26, 2008

Smartphone and Pocket PC magazine no more

image This really is sad news, Smartphone and Pocket PC magazine has always been great read for Windows Mobile enthusiasts and is the only quality glossy printed magazine of its type. To make matters worse it is being replaced by iPhone Life magazine, talk about rubbing salt in the wound of Windows Mobile users. The full statement is after the break, is this another nail in the Windows Mobile coffin, what do you think?

Final Issue of Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine

By Hal Goldstein,

image I have sad news. After 11 years, we will be publishing a final 2008 issue of Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine and then suspend publication! We are working hard to make it the best Windows Mobile issue ever, a keeper, a reference guide. In 2009 we will publish Smartphone magazine’s iPhone Life. Below, I’ve attempted to answer questions that have been asked of me:

Why are you “suspending” Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine at a time when Windows Mobile has never been stronger?

It is with great regret I make this announcement. We are a very small, self-funded magazine publishing company. We did not make this decision lightly, especially after 11 years of issues.

It has become harder and harder to grow our circulation over the past three years since Windows Mobile changed from being PDAs to being phones. Pocket PC manufacturers like HP used to work with us to offer their customers a free issue of our magazine in their packaging. The phone companies have not shown similar interest in working with us.

The other business challenge has been the lack of advertising sponsorship from Microsoft, phone companies, and OEMs, despite our coverage of their products. In order for us to sell subscriptions at current low consumer magazine-type prices, we must have a stronger and growing circulation, and we much attract the large advertisers who benefit the most from our existence.

Of course, the irony is that almost 20 million Windows Mobile units were sold this past Microsoft fiscal year. We think there is a great opportunity to continue the magazine in this high growth smartphone market  for a more sophisticated publishing company or a funded entrepreneur.

What does “suspending” mean?

Suspension means that we have no plans to publish future Windows Mobile issues. However, we have left the door open, particularly if a sponsor or buyer steps forward. Our focus in 2009 will be the four scheduled iPhone Life issues, which we will publish under the umbrella title of Smartphone Magazine under the same newsstand distribution as Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine. That title and our 4 iPhone issue 2009 schedule leaves us space to produce more Windows Mobile issues, a Google Android issue, a RIM Blackberry edition, or a generic Smartphone issue depending on where the opportunities lies.

What will be in the last Windows Mobile issue, and how can I get it?

We are working to make it a super reference guide, the best Windows Mobile issue we’ve ever done. It will include winners of the 2008 Best Software Awards, reviews of the hottest new Windows Mobile Smartphones, a special Entertainment section, the latest in GPS software, a mini How-to Guide with new tips and how-to’s, a guide to the best Internet resources, best accessories, best free stuff,  our device comparison chart, plus other surprises. All current subscribers will receive this issue. It will be on newsstands in November. The Knowledge Bundle also includes the issue.

What are you doing about subscribers?

We appreciate subscriber support, and would not have been able to last as long as we have without you. We also appreciate subscriber understanding of our situation. This week we are mailing the premier issue of iPhone Life to all subscribers, which an explanatory note. In early November we mail the final Smartphone & Pocket PC issue. For those subscribers still with issues due them, we will fulfill those subscribers with Smartphone Magazine’s iPhone Life. Naturally, if we do publish Windows Mobile or other platform issues as Smartphone Magazine, we will send those issues.

For new subscribers that prefer, we will send our new Knowledge Bundle. Alternatively, we can put together a special renewal bundle, which includes all the 2000-2007 issues in MS Reader format. Contact Marge at [email protected] and if you are a new subscriber, she will send you a knowledge bundle , or work out something that works for you.

What is the “Knowledge Bundle?”

This bundle is designed for Windows Mobile users who haven’t been receiving our magazine. It includes the final Resource Guide issue, How-to Guide, 20 Special downloadable Reports, 15% off Handango software through December 31, 2008, at least 3 2008 back issues, our How-to Guide, and the premier iPhone Life. It is $19.95 plus shipping.

How can I buy “iPhone life?”

You can purchase a subscription at a special $25 price for all issues through 2010 – at minimum four each year plus premier issue while supplies last. iPhone Life subscriptions include a web-based Zinio digital subscription, which can be read on a desktop or iPhone. You can check out Table or Contents and purchase it.

What about the future of this Web site?

We feel proud about our great content here, and there is no reason not to continue to support and grow it. We have these great blogs and our support forum. We also have 11 years of magazine archives, a huge tip and how-to library, our 5000 product Encyclopedia of Software and Accessories, Best Software Awards winners, Device Comparison chart, and free weekly newsletters.

What about Best Software Awards?

We are towards the end of judging the 2008 awards. We have not decided whether to have awards in 2009. In part it will depend on whether Microsoft or some other company wants to sponsor it. We hope to have awards for the iPhone.


Posted in: Phones

About the Author:

Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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