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New Clie' Models from Sony

Techstination feature for Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Sony builds a better Palm, again. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Just weeks after Palm introduced two new color personal digital assistants... Sony is introducing new versions of its Clie' line that are sure to turn some heads. The high resolution color screen can flip up allowing the user to type on a built in keyboard... .or the screen can pivot... and lie flat... for using a stylus to enter data. And the new high end model... includes a built in digital camera. Product manager Ty Takayanagi...

"This is actually the only Palm OS device to have a camera built in. And this is capable of taking up to one hundred thousand pixel digital still images."

Not very high resolution... but suitable for viewing on the handheld... or on the Web. Sony says as of mid-March... it has a 20 percent share of the handheld market... .making it number two, behind Palm. The figures come from the research firm NPD Intellect. The Clies offer Memory Stick expansion and can serve as remotes for TVs and stereos and an MP3 player for music. I was surprised to see the lack of any wireless connectivity options for the new models... since that's where the industry seems to be going. Marketing VP Russell Paik...

"What I would tell you is that we absolutely understand that wireless in the future will be an important cornerstone for this product category and we're working aggressively to build solutions for this category."

Sony does sell an add on wireless solution called Mylo... that works with earlier Clie' models... but not with the new ones. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.