Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Sony Effectively Quits PDA Business

Looks to me as though the Palm platform is dead unless it can do a MUCH better sales job getting into the Smartphone business. I was amazed at how obtuse Handspring were in getting ahead of Sony Ericsson with their TREO line of Smartphones. I was an early adopter - had the black and white Treo which lasted less than a day between battery charges. Was there a way I could upgrade to a better model later? Not in Europe - "sorry Sir, we don't offer special prices to upgrade existing users". Sorry Palm, you won't be around in 3 years. Incredible! Apple fell into the same trap when it switched lines from Apple II to the Macintosh. Should have offered a special deal to existing users to go with the new line of computers. But no, if you were an existing user, you had a legacy problem. Almost killed Apple in the Netherlands.

Now the story (link in the headline above)

In the face of declining overall sales of handheld devices, Sony said on June 1st 2004 that it is backing out of the handheld business in the United States. The company said in a statement that it will not release any new models of its Palm OS-based Clie handhelds in the U.S., although it will continue to release new models in Japan.

"Sony is reassessing the direction of the conventional PDA market, and Sony will not introduce any new Sony Clie handheld models in the United States this fall," the company said in a statement. However, the company did say that it will continue to develop consumer devices with wireless capabilities and that it will also collaborate with Sony Ericsson, the mobile phone company it co-owns with Ericsson. It provided no details about that collaboration, however.

Many recent market studies have pointed to declining sales of handhelds and a corresponding increase in sales of smartphones and other wireless mobile devices. Sony and its Clie line of handhelds were the second-largest user of the Palm platform after devices developed by palmOne.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The SONY product as it evolved was great, the latest does WIFI. They figure out how to but a lot of things into on small box.
As a Palm and Palm Source shareholder, I can see where Micrsoft is going to win this one with the Pocket PC and Pocket PC smartphone.