No More Sony Clies In the US

According to this Reuters article, Sony is done developing and selling handhelds in the US. That’s right — no more Sony Clies. Apparently, the market is declining at such a rate that Sony has decided it isn’t worth competing anymore outside their home market of Japan. I wonder if this will increase or decrease the value of my UX50.

So why is the market declining? Do you think that too many people’s desk drawers are full of dusty, discharged, disused PDAs? Have Americans decided it’s easier and cheaper to write on the palms of their hands? Are Clies too expensive? Do Americans prefer the handhelds designed by PalmOne, or Windows Mobile devices?

As far as I know, PalmOne will be the last significant licensee of the Palm OS in the US now that Handspring and PalmOne have merged and IBM isn’t making the WorkPad anymore. I believe Kyocera and TapWave are still licensing the Palm OS, but it’s unclear where they are headed. If this weren’t enough, Palm recently announced that their new operating system isn’t even going to support OS X at all. The only thing I can figure is that they know that Apple is going to introduce their own PDA based on the iPod platform.

What are your thoughts on the PDA scene right now? It seems a little grim to me.

9 Responses to No More Sony Clies In the US

  1. ksuh says:

    Apparently, the PDA market is dying rather quickly due to combo phones.

  2. Kevin Hoyt says:

    The great thing about Palm OS is that it focuses on one thing, and does that one thing really well – personal information management. With the addition of features to continue to compete, the OS has unfortunately lagged in focus and no longer knows what it wants to be. The new king? Blackberry.Anybody who travel frequently sees these little devices everywhere. Why are they so successful? They focus on one thing and do that one thing really well – personal information management. What’s different from the Plam OS is real-time, all-the-time, integration with the kingpin of PIM – Outlook/Exchange.I might suggest as well that other OS’s have done a much better job of courting developers. The Blackberry for example has great J2ME support. Last I checked (which was admittedly some time ago), the only really efficient way to code on Palm was through C, and then you have to buy a development suite to be truly effective.I don’t think the phone/PIM combo is where it’s at – I’ve had one and while it was ultra functional, it was a pain to hold to my ear during a conversation, or just slip in my jeans for a night out on the town. You can shrink the size, but then input becomes a nightmare. Here I go again… The phone is successful because it focuses on one thing, and does that one thing really well – communication.All that being said, the other thing my life revolves around besides my personal information is my music (iPod). If Apple brought back the Newton, with a better form-factor and updated hardware and integrated iPod, I would buy it in a heartbeat! The original Newton is still way ahead of common OS’s in many ways – big screen, PC slots, long battery life, cross-OS connectivity, Wi-Fi, MP3, it can read RSS feed headlines to me… What’s not to love – C’MON Apple!

  3. wp says:

    The PDA just can’t compete.The Cell Phone, has the automatic leg up,voice automation.It will be the only input in the future, if you ask me, unless you’re a blue collar worker, then you may have to press a few buttons.?But, Who knows, they may get beyond voice, and get into the nervous system or brain wave input types?Eye twitch scrolling?!

  4. I agree with Kevin in that I believe devices should focus on fulfilling their primary purpose as best as possible, and rarely are capable of fulfilling multiple purposes well, or even adequately. The best phone/PDA combination I’ve seen is the Treo 600, however it even leaves quite a bit to be desired. Data input and form factor just haven’t been mastered. I use a Sony Ericsson 616 and a Sony Clie UX50 which integrate via Bluetooth, so I get the best of both worlds: device specialization and integration. Of course, I still have to cary around two devices, so the solution isn’t perfect.Additionally, no matter how good voice recognition gets, it will never be ideal for data entry. First of all, people feel silly telling machines what to do, but even after we all get over that, there is still the problem of trying to work in a quiet environment, like cubicles in an office. That’s why instant messaging is so popular. Why not just talk on the phone? Or use VOIP? Because instant messaging is discrete. Technology needs to get more functional while retaining (or achieving) discretion.

  5. dave ross says:

    my boss has a Treo 600… i think it’s pretty darn functional. IM/Web browsing are great… I can type pretty fast with the thing, and the size is not cumbersome at all (for a phone). For someone who needs everything in one package, I think the treo rocks (now we just need to get flash on it)

  6. JH says:

    My original Palm with a mono screen got 4 to 6 weeks out of each set of AAA batteries. Switching to the Clie with a color screen, I got about 4 hours on a single charge. . . . Of course, that’s when it was new. Now I can get maybe 2 hours of use on a charge, except that even when I don’t use it the charge decreases. Without good batterly life, all the features in the world don’t mean a thing to me. I basically use my Clie as a backup to the address book on my computer — kind of like an expensive jump drive with a screen, but a jump drive in which the memory is erased if I forget to charge it in the cradle.

  7. leocrawf Stewart says:

    I dont know why people buy palm based pda’s. They dont offer half the functionality of pocket pc plus they are generally slower.

  8. David Hart says:

    The reason people buy Palm based PDAs are they have two features that PocketPC’s don’t have:1) Almost instant response in switching from one program to another. Of course out of the box they are pretty equal but the Pocket PC slows to a crawl once you start using up the memory because it is a true mutlitasking creature. But mutlitasking is overated for a PDA and people mostly want quick access for info which leads to the second reason2) Much better search functions. On a Palm you just hit the silky button for a search and boy it just goes. The find feature on a Pocket PC requires more keystrokes AND IT NEVER REMEMBERS TO just to search the PDA functions (you have to always select contacts from the find picklist WHY DOESN’T IT JUST REMBER IT!!!). For some idiot reason nobody has improved the find function while tons of people have improved the search founction on the Palm.

  9. shanni says:

    This morning I checked my ipod and all my songs have been erased! i dont how this could have happened. it was ok last night when i imported songs! Any ideas?