Handspring flips on its future

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As reported here on Brighthand, CEO Donna Dubinsky recently told analysts in a conference call that Handspring is “…a company that is transitioning out of the organizer business and into the communicator business.” It was intended to appease the forward-looking nature of Wall Street rather than as a public death knell for the company’s Visor line of handheld organizers but that’s exactly how many Handspring developers took it. By Friday co-founder Jeff Hawkins was zipping off an apologetic email to developers reassuring them about the fate of the Visor. Here is the the text of the email sent by Hawkins: Dear Handspring Developer, There has been some confusion over Handspring’s commitment to the organizer business as a result of comments we made in our recent conference call with financial analysts. We are sorry for any confusion we may have caused. I am writing to clarify our position. Handspring remains committed to producing and supporting our organizer products. We believe that there will be a market for organizers for some time to come. What we intended in our earnings call is that because of our strong belief in the value of wireless communications, we are putting more and more of our development resources into our communicator products. This is true. We are very excited about the Treo communicator and are investing heavily in future communicator products. The Visor product line has been an incredible success and the Springboard expansion slot supports many great solutions thanks to you. As the Visor product line matures we are consolidating the line into a few key products, Visor Pro, Visor Neo and Visor Edge. Going forward we will continue to support Springboard developers. We will continue to manufacture and sell Visor products as long as there is sufficient demand and we are able to build them. It is natural that as demand dictates we may reduce the number of SKUs and the geographies and channels in which they are available. Again, I hope this clarifies any confusion we may have caused. Thank you for your support of Handspring in the past and I look forward to continuing to work with you in the future. Jeff Hawkins Whether developers will look at this as the signal to abandon the Springboard is anyone’s guess.

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