C|Net is reporting that Sony will scale back its Clie handheld line and completely pull out of US and European PDA markets. It looks like declining market share is behind the decision, which will see Sony take time to "examine the conventional PDA business and how it will transition into the future." That seems to leave the door open for Sony to bring the Clie back to the US market, but perhaps not as a conventional PDA.
Sony's Clies were always known for their innovative designs and cutting-edge features, so it's unfortunate to see Sony scaling back so aggressively. Sony's Clie bailout could also have serious ramifications for PalmSource, whose Palm OS continues to lose market share to Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform.
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