Palm SG Enters China's Handheld Market

Palm today announced it has begun to sell Palm branded handhelds in China. Palm also announced the the opening of its sales and marketing support office in China, a local distributor, the establishment of customer services and in-country technical support.

According to IDC, China is the largest handheld-device market in the Asia Pacific region (excluding Japan) and accounts for 68 percent of total shipments in the region in calendar 2002. IDC also said China is expected to generate 14 percent year-on-year growth in 2003.

Palm will initially sell the Palm Tungsten T, Zire and m500 handhelds to China. Consumers will be able to choose to operate their Palm handheld in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese or English language with CJKOS Chinese software system and PenPower handwriting software built into the handheld.

Palm will build its distribution through a strategic network of distributor and enterprise partners. To help drive its distribution efforts, Palm has chosen to work with Digital China as one of its first distribution partners in China. Digital China will distribute a range of Palm product and accessories and will focus on bringing these to the retail channel as well as to the enterprise market.

This move comes after PalmSource unveiled an initiative to enter the Chinese handheld market. Two new Chiniese Palm OS liscensees, Legend Group Limited and Group Sense (International) are also plan to introduce new handhelds in China that run the Palm OS. PalmSource is also releasing Simplified Chinese versions of the Palm OS which will provide localized versions of Palm OS 4.2 and Palm OS 5.3 for the China market.

China is the world's second largest handheld market, and accounted for about 20% of the world's handheld units last year.

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Why not?

mikecane @ 4/24/2003 5:18:17 PM #
Hell, the things are manufactured over there (or is it just assembled)? Short trip from factory to wholesaler/distributor (aka corrupt Party official).

RE: Why not?
jdiver @ 4/24/2003 6:05:04 PM #
You got a point. It will be interesting to see how PSG does there.

RE: Why not?
amflores @ 4/24/2003 8:03:38 PM #
Which ones? My m105 has "made in Mexico" printed on itīs back...donīt know about other models

RE: Why not?
PalmSide @ 4/25/2003 5:21:55 AM #
My Tungsten got a "Made in China" tatoo, so does my colleague's Zire.

RE: Why not?
bigfoot @ 4/25/2003 12:03:43 PM #
My M505 says it was assembled in USA


RE: Why not?
killah fury @ 4/28/2003 4:15:42 AM #
Well isn't it all a bit dangerous, what with the SARS outbreak and everything...

Chinese market

mikecane @ 4/24/2003 6:36:18 PM #
BTW, that 20% of all handheld sales in China -- most of that are brands and manufacturers and OSes we've never heard about or seen here in the US. They are home-grown Chinese PDAs. Palm has its work cut out for itself.

RE: Chinese market
amflores @ 4/24/2003 8:07:13 PM #
I donīt understand this...

"According to IDC, China is the largest handheld-device market in the Asia Pacific region (excluding Japan) and accounts for 68 percent of total shipments in the region in calendar 2002"

and then

"China is the world's second largest handheld market, and accounted for about 20% of the world's handheld units last year."

so, which is the biggest handheld market in the world, Japan? If you include Japan in the Asian Pacific region numbers, then China is in second place, and since China is second worldwide ergo...

Am I ok? Whereīs the US?

RE: Chinese market
mikecane @ 4/24/2003 9:09:47 PM #
Don't be silly. America is still the #1 market for handhelds. And cheap Chinese imports made for fractions of a cent that are sold in 99-cent stores here and tend to fall apart with a week (I once bought a brush to sweep my floor -- I put it under hot water to clean it and the *bristles melted*!).

RE: Chinese market
popko @ 4/26/2003 1:58:21 AM #
I might be wrong on this, but didn't Japanese cars came into the North America market as the "cheap little ones" ?? Now Korean cars are been marketed as "great deal" for the money.

Now, I'm not saying Chinese made goods will follow the path of that of Japanese and Korean goods. But history tends to repeate itself. Maybe, just mayby, in the decades to come, China might be makeing most of the stuff that we use anyway and the quility of these goods will be accpeted by most people.


grg @ 4/24/2003 7:13:52 PM #
I hope we will finally see some Unicode support in PalmOS.
RE: Unicode
jjsoh @ 4/24/2003 8:24:11 PM #
Unicode or not, it's great to hear that there's finally a "CJKOS Chinese software system and PenPower handwriting software built into the handheld." Is this an officially localized version of Palm OS in CJK? If so, where can I get pick one up? Or alternatively, I wonder if they will ever make it available to us. Then we can update our Tungsten|T ROM with this OS, for a price, naturally. That would be awesome. (And in case some of you may have missed it or are confused, the American T|T advertises as only having 4MB of ROM, but it's actually 8MB like the ones they sell outside the USA. You can check ROM size in applications such as FileZ to verify this claim).

I've been going through the forums and have never been able to get any information on this subject (other than 3rd party apps which sit on top of English POS, but they're usually unstable). I've been waiting so long for a PDA with a Palm OS system that supports Korean language natively. Any information would be greatly appreciated. :)


RE: Unicode
jjsoh @ 4/24/2003 8:36:12 PM #
: Is this an officially localized version of Palm OS in CJK?

Hahahah.. nevermind about this question. I meant to delete it, but I guess I was faster at hitting the submit button than I am at proofreading. 10 lashes for me! ;)

Anyway, I just hope it truly does support Japanese and Korean to the fullest. Then it would be a great opportunity for Palm to finally grab some marketshare in S. Korea.


Office in China or Hong Kong China?

jbeedham @ 4/24/2003 10:23:12 PM #
Is the office really in Chine or is it in Hong Kong? I can see a lot of people in Hong Kong buying handhelds. However, handheld sales in mainland China makes me wonder. Is mainland China really coming up and can afford to buy lots of handhelds or are they still the third world communist country they used to be?

currently using Palm m125 and waiting for Garmin iQue.
RE: Office in China or Hong Kong China?
mikecane @ 4/24/2003 11:09:07 PM #
Months ago I came across an article on the web about China's PDA producers. It's a bloody cutthroat business over there! (Sorry, lost the URL!) Most of China remains in a Third World state, which is primarily the country, but the urban areas are fast becoming strictly First World (at least on the surface; a woman who recently went to a new hotel in China reported back to me that there was NO hot water!).

Here's some stuff to look at just from my popping "Chinese PDAs" and "Chinese PDA" into Google:

RE: Office in China or Hong Kong China?
cykalan @ 4/25/2003 12:39:05 AM #
Palm SG already have office in Hong Kong for a long long time. This article refers to mainland China.

Read your manuals before you ask!!
RE: Office in China or Hong Kong China?
ingen @ 4/25/2003 10:21:13 PM #
HK is a separate entity all in all from china.. and most of china are still relatively backward, lots of uneven development throughout china.. most of the stuff we see or hear on the media are juz showcasing the best of china and do not represent the whole of china.. in short, only the good things reach our ears

Opportunity for SMS to Explode in Popularity

ozz @ 4/25/2003 12:52:30 AM #
With China and Hong Kong now set to embrace Palm products, and with the SARS cases in China and Hong Kong reaching epidemic proportions, SMS Instant Messaging may be a new and very popular method of communicating without having to be face to face and worry about SARS infections. This could be an unexpected boon for Palm (and other handhelds) in China and Hong Kong. Just a thought.

RE: Opportunity for SMS to Explode in Popularity
PalmSide @ 4/25/2003 5:29:52 AM #
do you think the phone line can transport viruses too?

Wake up all
dplesot @ 4/25/2003 7:00:12 AM #
Hey, Wake up very body....

China is the fastest growing country in the world. Still some third world places but most of the Eastern cost region are quite developped. And China Electronic are moving very fast.

Ex. Last year all the chinese phones were crap and there are now quite OK. It's going very, very fast here. And when we need 1 year to developp one generation of PDA in Europe and US, they running 2 or 3 generations (even if is still behind for the time being).

Soon everybody will know Haier, Legend, TCL. Every month, there is 5 millions of new mobile users !!! During this time, our old western countries are just sleeping.

Look here to get a hint for overall figures :

And for Amoisonic :
And for Haier :
And for TCL :
And for Bird :

DP, an European lost in China

RE: Opportunity for SMS to Explode in Popularity
ingen @ 4/25/2003 7:02:03 AM #
phone lines cant transport biological viruses for goodness sake..

the points made above arent valid at all..

SMS has already long been popular in China and HK for the last few years.. and Palm probably already carved a niche for itself in HK years ago when HK was still under the brits with an open market, and HK still is an open market except for some restrictions set down by mainland China...

and there is an influx of cheap phones with SMS capabilities for the past few years in china and where Pocket Pc is dominant..

RE: Opportunity for SMS to Explode in Popularity
jjsoh @ 4/25/2003 1:45:58 PM #
ingen, I agree. SMS is nothing new to anyone outside of the USA. Europe and Asia have already been SMS-ing for a long time now (though, not sure about S. America), and cell phones are the reasons for this, not PDA's.

: and there is an influx of cheap phones with SMS
: capabilities for the past few years in china and
: where Pocket Pc is dominant..

This is true, not only there, but in S. Korea as well. But, getting back on the PDA side of the topic, in S. Korea, while some companies that produce their own PDA and OS's have the majority of the PDA market, Pocket PC is more prevalent than Palm. Palm has almost zero marketshare there.

Then again, a friend of mine who visits S. Korea often would tell me that the reason PDA's aren't that big a deal is because almost EVERYONE has a cellphone and they use that as their "PDA" mainly for phonebook and calendar events. Those that need more are a small percentage. If anyone living in Korea could verify this, that would be great.


RE: Wake up all
ingen @ 4/25/2003 10:27:53 PM #
its agreeable that most parts of China are developing, but its at an uneven pace.. much of the development by china's homegrown players shd attribute success to the sheer numbers of untapped markets and that of foreign companies' incompetence of catching the hearts of the locals

plus, although china's enconomy is growing, that is not so for the rest of the world.. Legend and its likes may be well known names in China having built up a reputation as a chinese company, but they may not have much opportunties overseas where the markets are over-saturated.. and it would still be well to note that the main-concentration of their income is still from the chinese markets

Chickens and PDAs

Zippy @ 4/26/2003 3:28:14 PM #
99% of Chinese people still sleep with their chickens: that is why all the new strains of flus come from there. (This is no joke BTW, that is the actual cause of most flu virus strains)

Take away the chickens and give them PDAs is the solution. (This part is a Joke)

RE: Chickens and PDAs
qaplus @ 4/26/2003 7:12:44 PM #
Sigh** You counted?

RE: Chickens and PDAs
G M Fude @ 4/27/2003 2:03:15 AM #
Zippy, just how long is it since you've been in China? I think you'll find things have changed a tad since your last visit, which was around the time of the Long March I would guess.

(seriously, I got a chuckle out of your post. Thanks!)

- Steve Smith
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

RE: Chickens and PDAs
mikecane @ 4/27/2003 2:24:10 PM #
Hahaha! Chickens and Long March. Two hilarious posts! Thanks for the chuckles. Let's just hope Palm doesn't release something that can be acronymed "SARS."



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