Sony Leaves US/European PDA Market

Sony has decided to leave the US and European PDA markets. The company will continue to develop and sell its popular CliƩ range in Japan, but will be concentrating on smartphones and its Vaio computer brand in the West.

Sales of conventional PDAs have suffered of late, in the face of increased popularity for smartphones. Smartphones now tend to feature the very same applications and functions that PDAs have traditionally offered, with of course integration with mobile communications and data.

PalmSource, makers of the CliĆ© OS, suffered a 13% drop in their share price when the news that they had lost one of their largest customers was announced. PalmSource’s market share has declined over the past year, and is now level with Microsoft Windows CE, with both holding 40%. PalmSource, however, are optimistic about the smartphone market and their ability to produce a competitive smartphone OS.

At its height, Sony was the second largest seller of PalmOS devices, its success due to innovative support for multimedia such as video and MP3 playback.

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?