NEC to delay its PDA launch again

NEC will delay the launch of its PocketGear PDA (personal digital assistant) for the second time, the company announced Tuesday.

The company needs more time to solve the Pocket Gear MC/PG5000's problems -- its cradle does not hold the device stably, it is difficult to take the compact flash card out of the slot, and some of the drivers for external modules need tuning for better performance, said Susumu Sakamoto, a spokesman from NEC.

The company announced in late November that the launch of the product, originally expected on Nov. 30, was delayed until Dec. 14. But NEC found that its technical developments could not be completed on time, and decided to put back the launch date again, Sakamoto said.

NEC hopes to be able to launch the PDA by the end of February, and will formally announce the launch date towards the end of January, Sakamoto said.

The PDA market in Japan has become intensely competitive with many major electronics manufacturers, such as Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp., entering the market since last year, and Fujitsu Ltd. expected to enter with its product next year.

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