Sony has pulled the plug on its Clié PDA in Japan. The company last year discontinued its line of Palm OS powered PDAs in the rest of the world, retreating to the gadget-crazy Japanese market.
The company's decision marks the complete and utter failure of product category that for a while was considered the Holy Grail. But PDAs soon lost much of their appeal for both the enterprise and consumer markets. The collapse of the internet bubble caused corporate IT budgets to freeze up, while the rise of smartphones made consumers abandon their PDAs in favor of the feature rich telephone.
PalmSource (the venture that owns the Palm operating system) now focuses on getting its software on smartphone. The market for enterprise class handheld computers is there for the taking for HP and Dell with their iPaq and Axim PDAs.
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