Sony has launched a new version of its Clie personal digital assistant (PDA) in an attempt to penetrate the entry-level market that has so far eluded it. The US$150 (HK$1,167) Clie PEG-SL10 has a monochrome display with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels and an eight megabyte internal memory. It runs on version 4.1 of the Palm operating system. As a typical Sony handheld, it comes with a Jog Dial navigation control, and a Memory Stick expansion slot. The latest handheld will be released first in the United States. Sony said it had not yet decided on a marketing plan for the SL10 in Hong Kong. Manny Lopez, market analyst at International Data Corp, said the launch of a new entry-level handheld in Hong Kong would help to expand their already broad popularity in the Hong Kong market. 'This new model will not only be targeted to budget conscious consumers, but will also be a cheap alternative for corporations looking to implement handhelds into their work environment,' he said. IDC said that Sony's Clie was the second most popular PDA in Hong Kong last year. Sony has shipped 15,723 units and has a market share of 12 per cent, following Palm with 43 per cent. In the first quarter, Sony shipped 9,600 units, a third of the total 29,044 units. Palm led the market with 10,150 units and a 35 per cent share. Compaq came third with 2,927 units, followed by Hewlett-Packard and Handspring, which shipped just 980 units each. There has been an influx of new vendors into the market. This month, CSL Hong Kong launched the O2 xda, a colour GPRS (general packet radio service) PDA that runs Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system. However, Mr Lopez believed there was still room in the local market. 'The market in Hong Kong is far from being saturated as the existing user base is relatively small, and as the pervasiveness of these devices continues to expand, due to these factors, the Hong Kong market shows huge potential.' He found there were two typical types of users in Hong Kong - those who used their handhelds for personal information management (PIM) and those who were looking for a PIM with added functionality. 'Users that are looking for power and performance lean more towards Pocket PC devices, which are more robust, but typically cost more and are a larger form factor,' Mr Lopez said. 'Users that are looking for PIM functions focus primarily on style and then price. This is the market that Sony is doing extremely well in.'