The biggest reason that the Samsung Mondi failed can probably be traced to its lack of an ability to operate as a WiMAX modem. Samsung has fixed that, unfortunately far too late for the product to be saved in the marketplace.
At one point the Mondi had a lot of promise. If it had sold well, Samsung would have undoubtedly updated it to the touch-friendly Windows Mobile 6.5.3 Classic, and shipped all sorts of additional features. But, the main goal of the Mondi was to prime the pipelines for Clear’s Windows Phone 7-enabled WiMAX tablet from Samsung, due out around year’s end. As such, Clear brushed Mondi under the rug as a failure, and handed remaining supplies off to Time Warner Cableâ€¦ a slightly more fitting end than devices like KIN received.
But, on the way out the door, Samsung quietly posted a firmware updateâ€¦ back in March. We didn’t even know the update had been issued until bringing it up with a Samsung representative. The update adds Intel’s WiMAX Connection Manager, and routes it into Phone As Modem. So, you can finally use the Mondi as a WiMAX modem, hotspot, or access point.
The lack of modem or hotspot functionality not only put Mondi behind products like the Clear Spot, it also seriously hurt the Mondi’s business proposition. Instead of having Mondi take the place of a WiMAX card for your Mac/PC, you had to purchase the Mondi in addition to WiMAX service for your computer (or, in place of it, a choice few would actually consider).
Searching Clear.com turns up one result now for the Samsung Mondi, a link that appears to have been sanitized of any mention of Mondi to begin with. Like Nokia’s N810 WiMAX Edition, it had a nearly non-existent market footprint. However, unlike the N810 WiMAX Edition, it will have a Microsoft-backed successor on Clear service.
To update the Mondi, you must launch Samsung’s PC Studio for the Mondi, and check for device updates from within the application.
Finally, to be clear, the Mondi hasn’t been shipped back to vendors (a la KIN). Samsung appears to be content selling off remaining stock via Time Warner and a limited supply at Best Buy stores…