Sony has decided to leave the US and European PDA markets. The company will continue to develop and sell its popular Clié 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 Clié 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.