PalmSource Unveils China Strategy and New Partners
With PalmSource in China this week, a host of new announcements have been made regarding PalmSource’s entry into the Chinese market. Two new Palm OS liscensee have been announced, Legend Group Limited and Group Sense (International). As the fastest growing market for mobile information devices, China offers tremendous opportunities for PalmSource and its partners.
Other notable announcements include:
- Opening of PalmSource subsidiary in Hong Kong and plans for a representative office in Beijing;
- Partnership with Portable Innovation Technology ("PITECH") as the first Palm OS System Development Partner;
- Collaboration agreement with Tsinghua-Solutions, an authorized Palm OS developer training center in Beijing;
- Collaboration agreement with Zhong Shan University, an authorized Palm OS developer training center in Guangzhou; and,
- Roadmap for simplified Chinese version of Palm OS.
Entering this market with leading Chinese partners is a key milestone for the continuing growth and leadership of the Palm OS platform. "We are excited to partner with Legend and GSL to bring leading edge Palm Powered(TM) products to market," said David Nagel, chief executive officer and president of PalmSource, Inc. "These world-class partners, combined with an innovative and talented developer community will catalyze a thriving Palm Economy in China."
Several hundred Palm OS developers and partners will be attending the first PalmSource China Developer Forum, to be held December 11-12, in Beijing. In addition to introducing PalmSource's new licensees Legend and GSL, current licensees Acer, Handspring, Samsung, Sony and Symbol, will also be sharing their vision for Palm Powered products in the Chinese market.
Furthermore, through PalmSource's collaboration with Tsinghua-Solutions and Zhong Shan University, developers will receive in-depth, classroom training on how to develop for Palm OS. This collaboration with two leading universities demonstrates PalmSource's commitment to the Chinese developer base by providing them with the most efficient and powerful tools to become successful Palm OS developers.
The new Palm OS Simplified Chinese operating system releases will provide localized versions of Palm OS 4.2 and Palm OS 5.3 for the China market. Palm OS 4.2 SC is targeted for Motorola 68K processors, while the Palm OS 5.3 SC is targeted for ARM processors from Intel, Motorola and Texas Instruments. These OS releases will be made available in Q2 and Q3 of 2003, respectively.
Both Legend and Group Sense Limited announced that they have licensed Palm OS. Legend is China's largest PC company, and GSL is the fastest-growing handheld company in China (according to Gartner Group, based on yearly growth).
GSL didn't describe the hardware it'll be making, but its chairman gave a speech describing opportunities in several markets. Legend showed a handheld running Palm OS. It includes a 240x320 screen, card slot (I believe it was SD), soft Graffiti. Quite nice looking, and extremely lightweight.
PiTech announced that it's a Palm OS Ready partner. That means it has a sublicense to the OS that'll enable it to help other licensees bring products to market (it's similar to our relationships with Intel, Motorola, and TI). PiTech is what we call an "Original Design Manufacturer," which means it designs and builds devices for other companies.
We announced relationships with two Chinese universities that will teach Palm OS programming to students.
Several existing Palm OS licensees discussed their plans for the Chinese market, including Acer, Handspring, Palm Solutions, Samsung, Sony, and Symbol.
A bunch of us are over here at our first Chinese developer conference. China is the world's second largest handheld market, with about 20% of the world's handheld units last year.
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