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Sony mulls adding music, cell phone to handheld
Posted: 26-Dec-2000 [Source: Bloomberg]

[Sony considering revamping Clie with added features to boost sales.]

Tokyo -- "Sony, which introduced its Clie electronic organizer in September, may add music and cell phone features by the middle of next year in a bid to revive slumping sales, an executive said.

"The No. 2 consumer-electronics maker may add functions to Clie that would enable people to listen to music, view clearer moving images or connect to mobile phones via Bluetooth wireless technology, said Shinsaku Inada, a Sony general manager in charge of the device. He declined to say whether the new functions will be phased in together or in stages.

"Sony, which also makes the Walkman and PlayStation, plans to push Clie into entertainment, betting this will help it stand out among rival products that also run on Palm's operating system. IBM Japan began selling Palm OS devices in Japan last year, followed this year by Palm, Handspring and Sony.

"We'd like to introduce features that Palm and Handspring may find hard to install," Inada said in an interview. "We'll play real games next year after practicing this year."

"Increased Clie sales may help Sony sell other products, such as Vaio personal computers and video cameras, as their data and images can be downloaded to Sony's Memory Stick flash-memory card and attached to the handheld device. Sony can also provide its own music, movies and games from other subsidiaries.

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