Sony dumps Clie

In a move that’s certainly surprised me, it looks like the Clie is no more – at least in North America, and therefore probably in the rest of the world sooner or later.

I think this really bodes badly for the handheld market in general, which is now being squeezed between smart phones on the small side and Tablet PC’s on the other. In a way, Sony’s strategy – to pile in multimedia features – made little sense: while there’s scope for a handheld for simple stuff, the more complex it gest the more it starts to look – and be priced like – a laptop.

  • Christopher Phin

    I wondered if it might have something to do with the recent introduction of a portable audio and portable video device.

    http://portableaudio.engadget.com/entry/2769877232243177/

    http://portablevideo.engadget.com/entry/8165274426338252/

    Given that I suspect that the iPod currently fulfils many people’s PDA needs with its contacts and diary viewing features (and making the wild assumption that the new Sony devices will support something similar), Sony may feel that there just isn’t the market for the Cliés.

    Besides, as you have suggested, their mobile wing, SonyEricsson, produces devices which are surprisingly capable PDAs. I may prefer the Palm OS to Symbian, but the impact of the P800 and P900 ought not to be ignored. Even their entry-level devices such as my T610 actually function very well as PDAs.

    And I know what you mean about creeping complexity. When my old Palm m500 was nicked from the office and I was forced to upgrade to a Tungsten T, I really did miss the clean mono simplicity of the m500.

  • Duncan Corps

    Others have interpreted the news differently- that Sony simply won’t be launching any new Clie’s in 2004 ( http://www.bargainpda.com/default.asp?newsID=2082 – warning: bad CSS expects huge browser window).

    On the other hand, it may just be that future Sony PDAs will use an OS other than PalmOS. Perhaps because Sony Ericsson mobile phones tend to use Symbian (nee Epoc, Psion’s PDA OS).

    It’s very unlikely that a company who pride themselves on usability and integrating hardware should licence Windows Mobile For Pocket PC- it’s unusable and dislikes talking to non-Microsoft stuff.