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Fujitsu eyes Palm as PDA partner

Japanese vendors looks to palmtops as PC sales shrink

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Fujitsu could be Palm's next Japanese licensee. The company certainly said today that it is examining the PDA market, and that one of the OS' under consideration is Palm's, according senior staffers cited by Bloomberg.

Of course it'll be looking at PocketPC too, not least since that's the option many Japanese PDA makers have gone for. However, it's telling that Fujitsu's executive VP for its computer division, Tadayasu Sugita, does appear to have stressed the PalmOS as "one of the likely candidates" for the company's PDA.

Fujitsu's move on the PDA market seems to have been prompted by falling PC sales and rocketing shipments of handhelds - they seem to have fallen off particularly sharply throughout January. And, according to market research company IDC, some 14 million PDAs are expected to be sold throughout the world this year, up 52 per cent on 2000's 9.2 million shipments.

Palm would certainly be very keen to get Fujitsu's backing. Japan has never been one of Palm's stronger markets. ®

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