Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) released a software update last week for its troubled iPaq h6315 handheld that promises to fix several issues that left users frustrated and caused retail partner T-Mobile USA Inc. to remove the device from its stores.
The 23.8 MB ROM update is available for download from the support section of HP's Web site. It updates the software that controls the wireless connectivity of the device, which can browse the Web and communicate over three different wireless standards: GSM/GPRS (Global System for Mobile Communications/General Packet Radio Service) networks, 802.11b wireless LANs or the Bluetooth short-range networking technology.
Users complained on various online message boards and forums that the h6315 did not work very well as a phone and was prone to crashes and lockups. The ROM update fixes 20 separate issues with the GSM, 802.11b and Bluetooth software on the phone, including problems with the call-waiting feature and an issue where the tones generated by the keypad could not be recognized by automated call-center software. Most of the fixes were dedicated to the Bluetooth software.
As a result, T-Mobile has put the phone back up for sale on its Web site. However, an exchange program that lets disaffected T-Mobile customers exchange their h6315 iPaqs for other smart phones is still in place, a T-Mobile spokesman said. T-Mobile also offers PalmOne Inc.'s Treo 600 and several BlackBerry phones from Research in Motion Ltd.