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Sony moves into PDAs

Sony Electronics has unveiled a prototype personal digital assistant (PDA) using Palm's operating system at the recent PC Expo 2000 in New York.

Palm and Sony entered into a licensing agreement last November. Sony's Palm OS-based PDA will use Sony's Memory Stick media slot for removable and additional memory and navigation dial. The first generation PDA is planned to feature digital imaging capabilities and is due to enter the market in September.

Sony plans to introduce a 128MB Memory Stick card by the end of this year and a 256MB Memory Stick card next year. Sony has aggressively pursued Taiwanese electronics manufacturers to adopt their memory card technology, and is also planning a device that combines a mobile phone with a PDA.

While dominating the market for PDAs, Palm competes with the licensees of its operating system, like Handspring and Sony, as well as with Microsoft's Windows CE operating system and CE-based handheld devices. www.sony.comSamsung mobile doubles as digital cameraSamsung Electronics has debuted a new mobile phone handset with built-in digital still camera.

The SCH-V200, which is already on sale in Korea, features a Charge Coupled Device image pickup on the back of the telephone handset and is capable of taking pictures at 640 x 480 pixels resolution. In regular mode, up to 20 images can be snapped by the user while a second mode allows 26 images of lower quality to be taken.

Samsung is confident the telephone will be a hit with young people and also useful in situations where pictures need to be taken unexpectedly.

The telephone is the latest in a line of dual device handsets developed by Samsung. Previous telephones have included an MP3 player, television and Internet access and the company has also developed a handset that can be worn on the wrist.www.samsung.comHP returns to the garageHewlett-Packard has launched an initiative to help startups and IT ventures.

The HP Garage Program offers funding assistance to companies who do not have the trading history normally required to obtain financing, as well as offering an export program to help SMEs compete on the overseas market.

The company will fund up to $3 million per company and expects to invest up to $500 million in companies this year.www.hp.com.au

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