Buying a Chumby or Sony Dash in Hong Kong = No Joy

You would think that a place like Hong Kong, which is only miles from the gadget factories in Shenzhen and benefiting greatly from a massive demand for consumer appliances and essentially no customs duties on imports, would have the latest and greatest devices from around the world easily available at the various Computer (grey) markets around town. But yesterday I plodded through one of them with stares of disbelief and wonder, and not just because I was speaking English and showing them pictures on my iPad. The Chumby and the Sony Dash (which has the guts of a Chumby inside) are two Internet appliances that I couldn’t find in Hong Kong.  Both are in heavy use in the US, with the Chumby being out for several YEARS now.  Chumby is now expanding into multiple devices.   But try as I might, I couldn’t find one in Hong Kong. Part of the reason might be usage–most people in Hong Kong are on mobile devices and the thought of a stand alone, sit at home (in your small house) Internet appliance isn’t that appealing.  I’ll confess that after having my iPhone next to my bed for a few weeks, I rarely used my Chumby for anything besides an alarm clock. But now that I’m stuck with no iPhone pending the release of the iPhone 4 and no FM radio since we left all of those back in the States, I’m in the market for another Internet device to help soothe my younger son to sleep every night with classical music from Venice, Italy (a station we use because they have no annoying commercials).  Unfortunately, these were two gadgets I just couldn’t find anywhere despite looking pretty hard. Perhaps there’s a business opportunity here…hmmm…


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