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Opinion: Sony to US Market: Sayonara?

Although Sony today announced the most advanced PDA running the PalmOS, there is still pessimism in the air about Sony bringing it to the U.S. Why? This article speculates on the possible beginning of the end for Sony.

It's just gorgeous. The new Sony PEG-N700C is a marvel of design and engineering. It contains the fastest Motorola Dragonball processor, a custom DSP for ATRAC 3 compressed audio playback, Memory Stick/Magic Gate slot for storage and media, audio jack with headphones and remote control, plus a killer 320x320 pixel screen. There's even provision for video playback! What's not to love?

What's not to love is that this is a device that will probably never see the light of day outside of Japan.

For many years, we Americans have looked goggled-eyed at products created and sold in Japan which have never arrived here in the US. The most prominent example is Sharp's Zaurus line of color PDAs. Long before Microsoft's "palm-sized PCs" had color, Sharp was flogging a TFTed active-matrix color Zaurus in Japan. They even displayed it at PC Expo one year, attracting a large crowd that was ready to fling cash at them for the unit. Yet it never made it outside of Japan.

A similar fate seems to be in store for Sony's new PEG-N700.

Why?

Let's review Sony's Clié actions to date.

The PEG-300 is Sony's monochrome Clié. It was introduced first in Japan, then released in the US. Just this week, it was finally released in the UK.

The PEG-500 is Sony's (first) color Clié. It was never sold outside of Japan, despite the clamor here in the States for a Clié with color. This was actually a good move by Sony because the color screen was inadequate in many respects. Unlike our generally-accepted idea of a color screen having a bright backlight (or transflective with sidelighting), the Sony color Clié screen was a moribund technology that seemed to resemble a standard PalmOS monochrome screen with colors added by crayon. No crisp white background; it had an ugly greenish-tannish background. It would have never sold here. It is quite remarkable that it sold in Japan at all.

Now Sony has introduced the startling PEG-N700. But without any clear-cut plan to sell it in the US.

Why?

Sony is obviously committed to their Memory Stick standard. They had the first mass-market PalmOS device with mass storage built-in (although the folks at TRG were the first with mass storage, they were not marketing to the general public, instead concentrating on corporate solutions; and Handspring, although offering storage, actually provided a new interface slot). The Clié fit into Sony's overall Memory Stick strategy, in which Memory Sticks are used in their digital cameras (still and moving video), audio players, notebook and desktop computers. But outside of Japan, Memory Stick has not had much of an impact. This was Strike One against Sony.

Strike Two came very shortly (in fact, within days!) after Sony introduced their first mono Clié. Palm Computing announced that all future Palms would standardize around the Secure Digital (SD) card standard for expanded memory. This was a blow to Sony's aspirations, no doubt, but it was also history repeating itself -- VHS vs Beta. Because the prime mover behind is SD is none other than Sony's old nemesis, Matsushita, which beat Sony into the ground in the great VHS-vs-Betamax VCR wars.

Earlier today, in exchanging email with Jeff Kirvin (who runs the excellent Writing On Your Palm website), we hit upon the possible reason why Sony will never introduce the PEG-N700 here in the States. And while this is very bad news indeed for Clié afficionados (who are many and vocal), it is perhaps the best possible news for Palm owners and makes perfect sense as the Strike Three that takes Sony out of the American market.

Strike Three is that it is entirely possible that the new color Palm m505 will itself contain a screen with 320x320 resolution as found on the new Sony Clié PEG-N700C.

This makes perfect sense. If the m505 were to still contain a standard 160x160 pixel screen, Sony would be mad to keep their new Clié in Japan. And yet this time I think Sony knows something the rest of us don't: that aside from being beaten in the storage war (SD vs Memory Stick), it will find itself more than matched in terms of screen technology. And what's even worse, for Sony, the brand name on that new screen will be Palm, a name known by millions of PDA owners (whereas the usual response of people towards Clié in retail stores is, "I didn't know Sony made a PDA...").

All of this explains Sony's past lack of enthusiasm in supporting even the mono Clié in the US. There is, for example, no comparison between Sony Japan's website for Clié and Sony America's website for Clié. One could in fact argue that Sony America doesn't even have a website for Clié. Sony Japan's site provides tutorials, user experiences, and detailed explanations for their software upgrades. Sony America's site is a pathetic, anemic creature that is near-autistic in its responsiveness to customers who have invested their time, money, and passion in their Cliés. It is, bluntly, a disgrace.

Concommitant with this lack of web presence and customer support is the lack of even basic peripherals for existing Sony Clié owners. A modem has never been released, either in serial port clip-on form nor in Memory Stick form factor. Even something as basic as hard shells, something designed to catch the eye and make people ask Clié users, "What is that?!", have never been released outside of Japan. Until very recently, Sony Japan's website touted blue and red translucent flip covers for the benefit of Japanese Clié owners. American owners have been up the creek.

Word has even now come from Targus that they have no plans to support the existing Clié with their folding Stowaway keyboard. Like the recently-dumped Compaq Aero 1550 Pocket PC, Clié owners must make do with the non-foldable (yet still useful) iBiz KeySync keyboard.

And even with the enthusiasm surrounding today's introduction of the new Clié PEG-N700C, Sony has been strangely silent on the subject of the existing monochrome Clié. Do they plan to add a faster Dragonball to it? Or will the new PEG-N700C, if it does indeed wend its way to our shores, be accompanied by a monochrome "N700"?

The weight of these actions on Sony's part can only lead to an awful yet inevitable conclusion: The Clié is most likely destined to be abandoned by Sony here in the US. The current monochrome version is most likely it and we will never see the likes of the PEG-N700C on these shores. Spend your money accordingly and carefully.

(c) Copyright 2001 by Mike Cane. All Rights Reserved.

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I pretty much agree...

EGarrido @ 3/14/2001 5:52:02 PM #
I think the article is right. We should at least consider the beginning of the end of Sony palms here in the States. I mean, those actions to hint at a closing curtain...

I just hope the m505 will release with a higher resolution. That'd be sweet.

Eric

Another opinion

Nate @ 3/14/2001 5:42:57 PM #
It seems to me that the three reasons you give that the new Clie will never come to the US are essentially reasons that they never should have built the PEG700 in the first place - but they did build it. It's out there, and it will already be in competition with the new Palms in Japan, so arguing that they won't bring it to the US because they don't want to compete with Palm doesn't make much sense.

The memory stick argument seems strange - first of all, they aren't committed to the memory stick standard, they ARE the memory stick standard. It's not an issue of whether they want to go with memory stick or SD, they are going with memory stick on the idea that all the Sony devices will work together. There are TONS of memory stick products in the US, and Sony is not going to give up the standard because of one little handheld. And the announcement that SD would be on all Palms isn't new, and doesn't come as a shock to Sony - it's not like Palm was ever going to go with memory stick, and Sony has always known that they would have a proprietary standard for the Clie - it's all part of their plan.

There are lots of products that are not available in the US, but interestingly, few of them are Sony. Most of the products that are only available in Japan are ones that are targeted more exclusively to Japanese trends - in particular high-end mini-notebooks, and super small gadgets and cell phones that work on japanese networks. Sony has the marketing muscle to promote products, and they have shown they are dedicated to bringing the Clie to the US. Palm is most popular in the US, and the primary Palm market is here. Sony knows that, and while it will do well with the sales in Japan, the US is too large a market to pass up.

Sony is the Microsoft of Japan. Just because the m500 series is coming from Palm doesn't mean that Sony is going to run scared. Can't you see that this announcement is intended to put Palm on the defensive? How many people are going to buy an m505 if there isn't a 320x320 screen, there is no sound, and there are no SD modules to make up for it? Quite a few, granted, but fewer than if Sony hadn't set the bar a heck of a lot higher with the new Clie.

The PEG700 will come to the US. I wouldn't be surprised if there was an announcement soon after the announcement of the m505.

_________
Syncplicity. Redefining Simple. www.cognitiveroot.com

RE: Another opinion
mikecane @ 3/14/2001 6:20:38 PM #
If the PEG-N700 makes it to the States, it better have PalmOS 4. According to what I've read, the current incarnation has PalmOS 3.5, which means handling Memory Stick files is just as bad on this fantastic new device as it has been on their previous devices. In one respect, let Japan be the test bed for this. But, for crying out loud Sony, do bring it here!

I would be as happy as anyone else to see this unit here. Even with ATRAC 3 compression (which MiniDisc adherents claim is superior to MP3, and they make good points too), and the conversion of files to it, I'd rather have this than, say, a Visor with a module.

RE: Another opinion
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/14/2001 6:28:37 PM #
I think this is crazy. Sony introduces the most ambitious Palm OS unit to date, and all you can think about is how this must signal the beginning of the end for Palm OS units from Sony ? Wouldn't *NO* Clie be a better indication of the beginning of the end from Sony ? It stands to reason that if the unit sells well in Japan, it WILL see the U.S. shores - Sony wants to make money. If a market is here, they will sell it.

Sony has a history of entering a hostile market, and dominating when they apply themselves. Look at the Playstation - they whooped Sega and Nintendo in sales over the last few years. Look at their notebook brand - they went from a 'joke' player, to one of the top 5 notebook vendors in a matter of a few years.

The new Clie could very well spell the beginning of something great for handhelds - maybe it means that Sony is finally commited to the category. Look out Handspring & Microsoft !

Annoucing that because Sony has released an excellent product, that they must be thinking of abandoning the line in the U.S., is just silly.

RE: Another opinion
atrizzah @ 3/14/2001 11:36:22 PM #
But Palm isn't fooling around like Nintendo did. Nintendo foolishly refused to give up its cartridge format, and Sony capitalized by selling lower priced games and more plentiful games. But Sony is playing on Palms field now. Palm owns the OS. Plus, I don't see how Sony will dominate the market with a release only in Japan. It was clear from the start that they didn't have much of a plan for America when they didn't release a color Clie here. Now to hold out on us when they have a killer device is just not smart, unless they're done with America (as far as PDAs are concerned).

I think if they really wanted to take over the US, they'd release this Clie as partner to the PlayStation 2 as the rival to the upcoming Gameboy Advance/GameCube duo. They could make and sell their own games for the Clie that have special links to PlayStation 2 games. What could better kill 3 birds with 1 stone than a device that appeals to the corporate man, the video game player, and the music fan?

Lets face it, with Sony's raw muscle, they could make it happen in America, but from the start they decided not to. Its not like Sony to make a half-assed move into the market like the Clie.

Peace Out
Alan

RE: Another opinion
mikecane @ 3/15/2001 9:05:25 AM #
What is being forgotten, too, is that the US intro of the mono CLIE was essentially a "stealth intro." Sony flogged it at PC Expo under glass, gave no firm intro date, and it simply showed up in stores. This is not a sign of a company that is a serious player in the American PDA marketplace. And since its intro, Sony's commitment to it has been simply and thoroughly lame. Where does anyone see any sign that any of this will change? What happened in Japan -- great website, great hype, great intro -- did not happen here. I expect Sony to do it all again. To their -- and our -- detriment.

Mistake?

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/14/2001 5:58:28 PM #
While I agree that ypu are possibly right, this would be flawed reasoning on Sonys part.

While Palm might have the same resolution as the sony, they will NEVER pursue multimedia like sony has. Palm would be wise to ENCOURAGE Sony to enter the US market with this product. It will cause many who are moving to PPC to stay with palm os. Many who have gone to ppc will come back. Palm OS has the software advantage. One device with Multimedia capability would severely wound PPC. This segment of palms market would be Sonys to OWN.

Also with regard to memory stick, true it is not widely adapted in the US. But the incredible popularity of a device like this would be a way to introduce memory stick to the masses here. This would spur sales of their other products that use the mstick.

Then again you very well might be right.

Pity for us.
Pity for Sony, an opportunity lost.

RE: Mistake?
atrizzah @ 3/15/2001 12:08:20 AM #
I didn't think about it before, but you're exactly right. A device like this would cut PPC's market share in half. It could only help Palm in the long run. Especially if they did it the way I say above, where they also make it the companion of the Playstation 2 if possible. If they did, the device would have mass appeal, and for such a comparitive price in terms of handhelds. I think it would be damn near unbeatable.

Peace Out
Alan

My bet is that they are waiting for memory stick peripherals

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/14/2001 6:36:08 PM #
Sony is a smart company. Sure they lost the Beta vs. VHS battle but they turned around and became a major player in the VHS market. The current Clie' has met with limited acceptance in the US for a couple of reasons. 1) aside from the jog dial it isn't substantially different from any other Palm you can buy for the same money; 2) Sony hasn't been aggressively marketing it. What would cause the Clie' to be a compelling device? Available memory stick peripherals. The differences between the putative M505 and the new color Clie' are what? Sound and possible screen resolution. Both are about the same size, both have rechargeable batteries, both will probably sell for the same amount of money and both sport interface slots for which there are no available peripherals. I'd wager that Sony is putting its engineering dollars behind a suite of memory stick peripherals that will be released simultaneously with a US color Clie'. They don't WANT to play on a level playing field. While memory stick may be a slow starter it has easily 100 X more market share than MMC/SD.

RE: My bet is that they are waiting for memory stick peripherals
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2001 12:23:46 PM #
It's supposed to be about as thick as the Prism...that makes it a LOT bigger than the m505!

Nate is right

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/14/2001 7:28:22 PM #
Nate said:
"Can't you see that this announcement is intended to put Palm on the defensive? How many people are going to buy an m505 if there isn't a 320x320 screen, there is no sound, and there are no SD modules to make up for it?"

Very true
The timing here is no coincidence. Look at all the forums, all the people who were ready to part with cash imediately upon the 505s release who are doing an about face.

I expect that around the time of the 505 release we will also get some indication from sony about when this puppy will begin shipping outside Japan.

My guess is that its about the quantity that would need to be made in order to satisfy the HUGE initial demand. Thus the initial role out only in Japan. They dont want to be the "Ipaq" of Palm OS by not being able to meet the demand (am I going to now hear it from the "dont slam PPC" guy.)

But those of us who were ready to buy the 505 sight unseen have something to think about.

This news(as well as the "edge" release)also adds validity to the rumor that the 505 WILL be released next week.

Stupid Wild Ass Guess

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/14/2001 7:46:07 PM #
I think Sony is playing the "people want what they can't have" game. Once the palm community is in a frenzy because they can't have the new device it will be released to the us. Wouldn't be surprised if it was released to the US in "Limited Quantities" due to "Production Volumes"

RE: Stupid Wild Ass Guess
atrizzah @ 3/15/2001 4:53:30 PM #
But that's bad business. You don't make money by not selling to your customers.

Peace Out
Alan

Sony will never be able to meet demand

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/14/2001 8:01:48 PM #
I can see it now, the Clie will hit the US market and instantly become backordered around the
US, faster than you can say Playstation 2. :) The worst part of it all is that Sony is clearly
quite capable of meeting production.

Someone at Sony better do some serious market research -- I'm willing to bet that they won't
even be able to meet demand in Japan. IIRC, the old color Clie sold out in Japan in hours. The
first Aibo robotic dogs that were brought to the US were sold out in under an hour. And the
Playstation 2 is STILL a hard find (although the prices have come down to earth again).

Can anyone say $5000 Color Clie on eBay? :)

I think the Clie is headed here, but it will be a LONG road ahead if they can't meet demand in
Japan. First day of pre-orders will be a good indicator.

Some Thoughts

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/14/2001 8:02:30 PM #
I have a few thoughts on the subject.

1) All closed systems eventually die. VHS beat out Beta (even though Beta was better) because of market penetration. PCs beat out Macs (even though the Mac was better) because of market penetration. The memory stick is doomed because it is a Sony, closed system and not a standardized, open-market system. If you think otherwise, I've got a couple of old Beta machines I'll sell ya, cheap. Sony's made this mistake before.

2) Remember the recent remarks from Palm's CEO. The company wants to move towards producing "razor blades rather than razors." (devices being the razors). The comment stems from the concept that software sales are much more profitable than equipment sales. The company wants out of the equipment business. It wants to be more Microsoft-ish as opposed to being more Dell-ish. Notice that Microsoft doesn't make any PocketPCs. Don't be too surprized at all if the new Palm is not all that awe-inspiring. It's probably a device that the company is using to introduce some new technology, but it won't be intended as the end-all-be-all of the hand-held world. Palm will probably want to show off its new razor blades, not sell you another razor. There's little profit in selling the razor.

3) Remember that these devices are going to be good for one year. Palm will introduce the software to run on ARM or StrongARM (or something much faster than a Dragonball) in 2002. That's next year folks!

JBH

RE: Some Thoughts
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2001 10:11:53 AM #
I agree with all your points, but especially #3. All bets are off in 2002 with the release of Palm OS 5.0. This is why I'm hanging onto my trusty Palm IIIxe for another year. Sure, it won't be "top of the line," but it will remain functional enough for me until the next generation hits. By then, I'll have saved up enough cash for the exorbitant price it'll probably cost.

RE: Some Thoughts
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2001 3:47:16 PM #
Sony made that mistake of Betamax vs VHS before, that's why they are NOT going through that again...

#1 Memory stick format/interface is actually about as open as it gets for a so-called "closed standard", Lexar (www.digitalfilm.com) is making their memory stick, as well as several other manufacturers are licensed to make memory stick type devices.

#2 Memory stick storage are actually CHEAPER MB for MB when compared to Compact Flash. (I know, because I use both of them, you HAVE to get cheap if you want to compete in the digicam storage media market.)

RE: Some Thoughts
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2001 7:11:58 PM #
Not to get too side-tracked but I believe the real reason that Beta lost to VHS was that the initial version of Beta cassettes could not contain the majority of full length feature films since the tapes had a SP run time of no more than 90 minutes (I could be wrong about the actual time they supported). Anyways, movie studios which were releasing the original rounds of movies for purchase had to make choices as to which format they would support and the two hour capabilities of VHS won out. Thus, consumers would pick up VHS decks since most of the movies they wanted to watch were only on VHS. Beta didn't die, it just went on to a different existance in the professional market alongside one-inch tape where quality and not runtime were deciding factors.

As for MemoryStick vs. SecureDigital cards, I think Sony made some mistakes with the initial licensing agreements and got few true adopters when MemorySticks were first introduced. The appearance of SD cards woke them up and they now have more reasonable pricing on their licensing fees. While Sony still maintains control of the spec as opposed to an organization with paying members, actually making MemoryStick products doesn't look too bad these days. The question is, is it too late?

See the pricing for yourself:
http://www.memorystick.org/msinfo/eng/licens/index.html
http://www.sdcard.org/join.htm

--David
(:


RE: Some Thoughts
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/28/2001 1:46:35 AM #
You're right about the Beta capacity thing, and that's
not a factor that gets mentioned much -- the format war
is played as if it were all in the marketing domain.

However, you're wrong when you say the Beta format
didn't die. It did. The professional BetaCAM format
is not the same animal (I think it even pre-dated
consumer Beta).

I don't agree

PalmPlan @ 3/14/2001 9:21:43 PM #
It doesn't make any marketing sense that Sony wouldn't sell this new Clie over here in the US. However, it makes a lot of sense that Sony is playing the waiting game with Palm, but with this announcement, it's taken a page out of Microsoft's book on how to overcome the competition - Pre-announce anything that will make people stop from buying your competitors products before yours is released.

Still, I think you guys may be jumping the gun a bit. Don't forget, this new Clie was announced for the Japanese market. Just because of the Internet, that's how we all knew about it so fast. Think about how this would have been during the pre-internet times - this discussion wouldn't have taken place at all!

I say, let Sony do what it needs to do cause I'm sure they're doing what's best for themselves. As far as we are concerned, let's just wait and see what happens...

PalmPlan
"The only constant in life is death"

Prespectives
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/19/2001 3:04:16 PM #
I think people failed to realize that the Clie 1 was Sony first ever attempt to design a Palm handheld. Other Palm OS licencees like Handspring have the orginal creators of the Palm on their side, or like TRG which basically took a palm III and added a CF slot to it.

Sony, on the other hand, wanted to create a completely different Palm from it's form factor to it's uses. They stressed multimedia over everyday organizer functions. In my opinion, they were over ambitious with the Clie 1. The reason that the Clie 1 was so slow to make it (and the color Clie never made it at all) to US markets was not because Sony didn't want sale it here, but Sony realize that the Clie 1 did not live up to their ambitions and was a failure by the reaction in Japan.

So Sony went back to the "drawing board" and complete over-haul the Clie 1, learning from their weakness and mistakes to create the Clie 2. I think that they did a very good job with the second generation Clie, implamenting major changes and improvements. If you compare Clie's evolution to other first to second generation Palm handhelds, you could really see to amount of improvements that Sony has invested in the Clie 2.

The Clie 1 was Sony's first Palm handheld, therefore, Sony is bound to make some mistakes with the Clie 1. Sony has shown that they are committed to improve the Clie line with the introduction of the Clie 2, and they apparently have done a great job, implamenting many innovations and improvements that are sorely needed. Give Clie 2 and Sony a chance.

I'm hoping that they will release an English version of the Clie 2 soon.


Color Clie Not Coming to US Shores

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/14/2001 8:45:02 PM #
As we know, this is not the first time that this had happened. Other Palm OS licensees should market (and provide support of course) their devices to the U.S.
which I think should be part of the license agreement with Palm. For example, Kyocera could have confined ther Palm OS based phone to Japan only. Fortunately, they didn't.

But probably Palm will not include such provision since other licensees (Sony, Handspring, HandEra), could design better devices than palm is currently offering (as we all know already!) therefore causing a serious threat to Palm. Imagine a Palm OS based PDA with capabilities like the Pocket PC not to mention the 320x320 screen resolution, this will surely send Palm and Microsoft running for their money!

I think Sony should really make a US version of the Color Clie because competition brings about improvement.


Guessing...

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2001 12:32:47 AM #
This is indeed a saddening article...

But- at this point in time it is pure SPECULATION!

I am keeping my fingers crossed for this device. If Sony does not release it here... they are really really stupid. IMO...

New Clie is coming to US
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2001 2:25:32 AM #
The following is quoted from Cnet:

http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1006-200-5136591.html?tag=cd_pr

"A Sony representative said that the new Clie will launch in the United States this year, with an announcement expected sometime around midyear. "

So we are indeed going to see a Englist version of the new Clie.

Thank God!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2001 3:18:03 AM #
Geez, I started to believe this article for a second. Don't scare me like that. I've been a diehard m505 onlooker and sorry Palm, no offense but I'm waitin. This unit will rock and give me everything I want. Music, Data, and a decent screen (finally). Wait, isn't this unit's screen better than most PPCs? If so, PPC has just lost all of their gain on those issues. Opps, I guess that just proves that PalmOS devices are much better. :)

RE: Guessing...
mikecane @ 3/15/2001 9:20:01 AM #
Well, the PEG-N700 has just 256 colors, according to reports. Not to tout Pocket PC (although I have little against it except the size of the devices, which tend towards brick-like [killing the Compaq Aero 1550 was a mistake!]), current PPCs have at least 4096 colors, and the Casio EM-500 might actually have 65K colors.

However, even with this limited pallette, the increased resolution of this screen spells the doom of the Franklin eBookman. The PEG-N700 is a *dream* machine for reading ebooks. (And now if Microsoft would just release a PalmOS version of MS Reader...)

RE: Guessing...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2001 10:27:48 PM #
AFAIK CLIE PEG-N700C *CAN* do 16bit color, it is just the PalmOS 3.5 that can't... And by not introducing another API now, it saves us from the problem of "API everywhere, all different"... That should be fixed with PalmOS 4.0...


As for MS Reader... Well, don't hope for a MS version, I rather have some PalmOS software producer (be it a company or someone work on their home computer) to come out with one... :)

RE: Guessing...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/28/2001 1:56:37 AM #
Then why does the Visor Prism (out since last October)
have 16-bit color?

Sony CLIé and US Market

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2001 2:39:10 AM #
Sorry, but your article is based only upon pure speculations.
Here's the facts : On March 8th, Sony announced at a press conference in Germany that the CLIé line will be sold in Europe from June 2001.



RE: Sony CLIé and US Market
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2001 3:05:16 AM #
That's not 100% correct: Sony announced the CLIÉ 500C for the European market, not the new 700C. Source: http://www.golem.de/0103/12853.html (in German)

..facts?

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2001 2:38:39 AM #
The original article at the top of this page appears to contain a factual error. As far as I am aware, TRG have made their product available to the general public from square 1. I bought mine 10 months ago direct from their web site, and TRG were marketing their TRGPro devices through their web site since about January 2000 (with no minimum order quantity, or restrictions with regards to 'corporate users'). The TRGPro was the first Palm device with internal mass storage available, anywhere - period.

RE: ..facts?
mikecane @ 3/15/2001 9:24:53 AM #
Sorry, but website sales are *not* considered "mass market" just yet. I still bump into people buying Palms and Pocket PCs in retail stores -- which is where the "mass market" still actually exists.

TRG is regarded highly for their quality, innovation, and commitment to their product line. But mass market they are not until their units are in retail stores.

RE: ..facts?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2001 2:29:14 PM #
Well I've seen TRGs in retail stores in Europe as well as here in Taiwan. They are very well on display with all the others (WorkPad, Palm, PPCs less Handspring though).

Peace Yah!

Sony will bring Clie to the US

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2001 5:48:01 AM #
http://cnet.com/news/0-1006-200-5136591.html?tag=cd_pr

From the article,

"The new unit will go on sale April 7 in Japan, although the company plans to start taking orders on its Japanese Web site next week. A Sony representative said that the new Clie will launch in the United States this year, with an announcement expected sometime around midyear."

There goes the whole theory...

RE: Sony will bring Clie to the US
mikecane @ 3/15/2001 9:29:54 AM #
Ah, and companies can never change their minds. Are you still waiting for the Samsung "palm-sized PC"? Waiting for those great ROM upgrades from "palm-sized PC" to Pocket PC?

OK, let's restrict it to Sony, then: They showed a Memory Stick still video camera in Asia. And that's all they did. Show it. Can you buy it? Not even the Japanese can... and where are the other Memory Stick peripherals? Hell, let's make it simple: where's the *modem*? That doesn't even have to a Memory Stick!

RE: Sony will bring Clie to the US
Ed @ 3/15/2001 11:47:52 AM #
Does that quote mean Sony is going to release the N700C in the U.S. sometime around mid-year or just going to announce a date when it will be released? The phrasing on how it is going to be launched "this year" makes me nervous. Generally, when a company says a product will be released by year's end, what they mean is December. I hope Sony isn't saying here that the device will be on U.S. shelves in time for Christmas. While this is a cutting edge product now, nine months from now it will be old hat.

---
Plenipotentiary
Palm Infocenter

Sony's Lost Format Wars...

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2001 7:38:09 AM #
Uhm... Did anybody ever buy a VHS-C camera?
Just wondering, 'cause I'd like to film him/her with my 8mm Sony HandyCam!

RE: Sony's Lost Format Wars...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2001 8:43:50 AM #
Someone here said that Palm should encourgae Sony to introduce the PEG-N700C in the US because it will bring back Pocket PC converts back to the palm platform.

I think it might be just the opposite. This whole discussion about higher screen resolution, music and video playback, more memory, expansion slots inevitably makes people think about the Pocket PC. Every single news item I read about the Clie references the iPAQ or Pocket PCs in the general. They alraedy have this. You can buy them right now in stores.

I believe many people will hear of the great new color palm pdas go into a store and the only devices that match their expectations might be Pocket PCs and they end up buying them.



RE: Sony's Lost Format Wars...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2001 3:57:46 PM #
May I remind you that iPaq is BIGGER than CLIE PEG-N700C? and will be even BIGGER still if you add the expansion sleeve?

A bunch of people want lots of function alright, but they often don't want to pay more for a huge brink to weight down their pants...

ohno!

scaught @ 3/15/2001 8:29:56 AM #
the world is going to lose yet another option in the bulging PDA market. sob. and its going to be a company with the stupid "memory stick" stanrard too. weep. my initial reaction when holding a monochrome clie for the first time was that it felt like a cheap plastic piece of junk. no heft to it. i felt like it could twist it and break it in my hands with very little effort. ohwell. no big loss. F sony


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