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Tiny to tout WAP phones in US amid PC drought

Puts plans for New York stores on hold

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Tiny Computers plans to start selling broadband Net packages in the US, and aims to have WAP phones in stores by summer.

Patrick Chan, executive director of Tiny USA and Tiny Pacific, said the PC assembler was "definitely not" shutting any of its US stores or thinking of pulling out of the US market.

But Chan did admit that the business had been hit by the economic downturn - he said plans to open more shops, on the East Coast, had been put on hold, adding that hiring "will be slower".

Tiny has also trimmed around five per cent of its US workforce (20 people), all based at its Seattle HQ.

"This year we are not planning on expanding very rapidly," said Chen. "It depends on the economic recovery".

Last year Tiny saw sales grow 15 per cent in the US, compared to 40 per cent in Asia.

To counter slowing demand for PCs, stores will start selling mobile devices. Talks are going on with phone companies, and Tiny plans to have WAP phones and other handsets on offer this summer. It already sells these in its 35 Hong Kong locations.

It's also chatting up ISPs about packaging broadband services, such as DSL, with its PCs. Chan said Tiny did not aim to start its own ISP in the US. ®

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