It was an eventful week for Sony. First, it lowered prices on several existing Clie handheld models, some by as much as $50. Next, it launched two new models, the PEG-NX80V and the PEG-NX73V, in Japan. Finally, it offered a sneak peek at a future clamshell-style Clie.
Sony took the first step by slashing prices on existing models. It cut the price on the PEG-SJ20 by $20, and dropped the prices of the PEG-SJ33 and PEG-TG50 by $50. These price adjustments were likely prompted by two factors: pricing pressure created by the release of the $299 Palm Zire 71 handheld and the need to clear the retail channel of existing inventory in preparation for upcoming models.
Next, Sony unveiled two new models in its NX-series of Clie handhelds. The new models, the PEG-NX80V and the PEG-NX73V, appear to be successors to the Clie PEG-NX70V model currently available in the United States. The new models include more memory, a higher-quality digital camera, improved battery life (40% better than the NX70V, according to Sony), support for the new Sony Memory Stick Pro, and support for standard Compact Flash memory cards.
Finally, at a recent press briefing in Japan, Sony executives showed a prototype Clie handheld that sported a landscape-oriented display, digital camera, and built-in wireless. The clamshell design resembles that of the Nintendo Gameboy Advance SP and the prototype Tapwave Helix Palm Powered gaming handheld.
This was not the formal announcement of this device. Instead, the Sony executive briefly showed the unit to the crowd, similar to the way the president of Sony's handheld division gave a quick glimpse of the NR70V at last year's PalmSource conference some time before the official announcment. It is not known at this time when this device will be available or what it will cost.
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