Sony Drops Out Of PDA Business In US

In July last year, Mike posted that Sony was entering into competition with itself. Because of the convergence between PDAs and mobile smartphones, the Sony Clie would someday compete with SonyEricsson phone products. No need to worry about that anymore, though, since Sony announced this week that they would be ceasing US distribution of their Clie line of PalmOS PDAs. This seems inevitable, and was foreshadowed by Mike’s post last year – the PDA market is reportedly shrinking, but as Techdirt points out over and over, it’s not so much shrinking as adding a radio and becoming the smartphone market. Since Sony already has a division aggressively attacking the smartphone space (SonyEricsson offers the excellent P800 and P900 Symbian OS smartphones) the Clie division was redundant. Strangely, they will still offer Clies in Japan. This is a small blow to PalmSource, since they will be losing one of their most innovative licensees. Sony pushed the display, multimedia, design, and input boundaries of PalmOS-powered devices. Sony will continue to support existing Clies.

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