It was only a few months back that I bought the “Sony Clie TH55”:http://varnam.nationalinterest.in/archives/000345.html after over-analyzing various PDAs. Now Sony has announced that they are no longer going to release PDAs for the American Market. This means there will only be Palm devices running the Palm OS. I always found that Sony Clie’s looked much more elegant than Palm Devices while running the same OS.
bq. Mr. Limp told Brighthand that this simply continues the trend toward consolidation of marketshare in the traditional PDA business to two major players, HP in the Pocket PC arena and palmOne in the Palm OS arena. “The market is in transition from a standalone PDA market to a wireless communicator market,” said Mr. Limp. When asked whether Sony would be releasing a Palm OS-based communicator in the future, Mr. Limp said “there are no guarantees in this world.” [“Brighthand”:http://www.brighthand.com/article/sayonara_clie]
“PDA Buyers Guide”:http://www.pdabuyersguide.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Board=news&Number=11594 has the following reasons for the annoucement.
* Sony had 20% of the Palm OS market in Q1, down from 25% in 2003, not good.
* Sony as a company is struggling financially. They need to concentrate on game consoles and games, and other bread and butter ventures.
* Sony is trying to buy MGM, which involves a great deal of money.
* The Clie’s high end multimedia niche didn’t pay off.
* They came out with 30 different models and that made for hard work to differentiate models.
* Innovation slacked, with the UX50 being the last innovative model, and that came out 1 year ago.
* Sony Clie models are expensive to produce.
* Sony didn’t keep pace with PalmOne restructing and cost reduction.
* PalmOne products are cutting into Sony territory: T3, Zire 71 and 72.
* Only 160,000 PDAs shipped in Japan last year. Todd wonders how worthwhile PDA sales in Japan are since high end feature phones are king there.