Acer to License Palm OS for Asian Market
Acer Inc., a Taiwanese computer manufacturer, said it plans to license Palm 's operating system as part of a plan to tap the market for handheld computers in Asia. Acer intends to make and sell the units in Taiwan and China. The two companies plan to make an official announcement on June 1 and Acer should begin shipping in the fourth quarter of this year.
According to Gartner Dataquest., Chinese buyers purchased 400 thousand electronic organizers last year, and Taiwanese 66 thousand. By 2003, these are expected to increase to more than 1 million in China and 200 thousand in Taiwan.
Acer will concentrate on offering wireless services. David Tsai, a marketing executive with Acer, said, "Just selling the PDA one by one, there's no money there. We are going to focus on the mobile data service. That's why Palm wants to join with us."
Acer has been in negotiations with Palm for over a year. For a while they considered writing their own OS or using another. They even demoed a unit called the SlimMate PDA that run a version of Linux but never released it.
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