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Register readers have rushed to solve the mystery of the origin of the iMac-style Sony Clié PDA that appeared on a Japanese Web site earlier this week.

The site published a series of pictures of a Clié with a rather natty translucent shell, rather different from the solid blue and silver tones of the official Vaio-styled product.

We speculated on what the device was. A Sony prototype that never made it to market? A teaser for the next version of the PDA? An upcoming cheaper, low-end version of the Clié?

We favoured the latter - it would, after all, make a nice alternative to Handspring's Visor and Palm's m100, like the Clié both PalmOS-based machines.

What we didn't guess was that it was simply some guy's attempt to craft a new shell for his own Clié According to reader Isaac Yang (who also reads Japanese), "it is just some guy getting bored with the 'business-oriented' look of the original, and came up with a plastic replacement case for his own".

Behind the translucent two-tone shell is "just a standard Sony Clié", writes Tan Pong Heng.

The pics show he's done a pretty good job - "I like it more than the real one," wrote reader Alex Ajao. Indeed, adds our Isaac, "he might make a bundle selling this thing at Akihabara anyway". ®

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