Sony’s new Clies ready to do business

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from Sony puts the pressure on Palm and Handspring as it targets business with the PEG-T615C which also adds a TFT color screen and doubles as a clicker at home. Sony doubled its pleasure on Tuesday when it announced two additions to its Clie line of handhelds. The consumer electronics giant introduced the $399 PEG-T615C–which doubles as a venue for business applications and as a remote control for home entertainment systems–and the $199 PEG-S360. Both are upgrades to existing Clie devices. The new Clie devices put added pressure on rivals Palm and Handspring to match Sony with innovations and competitive prices. All three handheld makers are licensees of the Palm operating system and have been in a price war since the middle of last year. Palm and Handspring are targeting businesses and soon plan to offer New Handhelds with wireless capabilities. Handspring, which reports earnings Tuesday, has said that its Treo communicators will be available this month. Palm has said that its device, referred to as the i705 in filings with the Federal Communications Commission (news – web sites), will be out this early year. Sony has tried to set itself apart from its competitors by developing features aimed at entertainment capabilities. The T615C is in keeping with that strategy. The half-inch-thick, aluminum-clad T615C, due later this month, incorporates a universal remote control for televisions, VCRs and stereo components, making it similar to the slinky $299 Clie PEG-T415. But where that earlier device comes with a monochrome screen, the T615C will come with a TFT color screen with a 320-by-320-pixel resolution. Sony’s high-end device is the Clie PEG-N760C, which comes with a color screen and a built-in digital audio player. The S360, due in February, is an upgrade to the entry-level PEG-S310. Both devices sport 16MB of memory and a Memory Stick media slot.



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