Toshiba to repair, replace 51,500 PDAs

Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday it will repair or replace free of charge 51,500 units of its personal digital assistant devices due to battery-related problems that could wipe out users’ data.

While Toshiba did not disclose what the recall will cost, industry analysts calculate that replacing all of the PDAs for free would mean a 3.6 billion yen loss for the firm.

As the measure involves so many units, it will no doubt affect Toshiba’s strategy in the PDA business, according to the analysts. Toshiba entered the PDA market in August 2001.

The problem concerns Toshiba’s Pocket PC e740W and Pocket PC e740, which are designed primarily for corporate users.

According to Toshiba, the problem occurs when a battery is changed or removed.

Of the 51,500 units, 35,000 have been sold in the United States, 8,000 in Europe, 500 in Japan and the remaining 8,000 in other countries and areas.

They were sold at an average price of 70,000 yen.