Symbol renews Palm licence

Palm says handheld maker is carving out business niche for Palm OS

Palm says handheld maker is carving out business niche for Palm OS

Handheld PC manufacturer Symbol has renewed its license to Palm Computing's operating system, renewing a relationship that has taken the Palm OS into such diverse industries as retail, postal services and health care. Symbol said it has renewed its license through April 2005, following licensee Handspring's renewal on 11 April.

Symbol is particularly important to Palm as it focuses on the potentially crucial enterprise market, outfitting hundreds of thousands of workers for businesses like the retail chain Sears, the US and Korean postal services and Office Depot.

Its devices are among the most customised offered by any Palm licensee, adding wireless LAN and WAN capabilities and bar code scanning. Other licensees like Handspring and Sony focus on more mainstream markets, and verge on competing directly with Palm's own hardware division.

"As the leader in mission­critical enterprise vertical markets, Symbol is a strategic partner for us in the fast­growing enterprise space," said Alan Kessler, general manager of Palm's Platform Solutions Group in a statement.

Palm sales have been hit, like those of many other hardware makers, by the slowdown in US consumer spending. The company has had to cut jobs and slash prices to reduce inventory.

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