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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