Psion, the UK personal digital assistant (PDA) maker, plans to make its market-leading Series 3a electronic personal organiser software available to third-party manufacturers in an attempt to encourage them to develop products such as palmtops, sub-notebooks, smartphones and network computers.
The company claims to have 33% of the PDA market, having sold over 2 million units since it launched its Organizer II in 1984. Psion is currently negotiating the purchase of Amstrad PLC, the UK consumer electronics, PC and mobile telecommunications vendor, in a move seen by analysts to integrate Amstrad's mobile-phone technology into Psion's hand-held computer.
The company will market its EPOC/16 16-bit operating system and the 32-bit version, the EPOC/32, in a hope to make it an industry standard for handheld devices. Psion has formed strategic partnerships with Advanced RISC Machines PLC (ARM), the UK RISC microprocessor manufacturer, and with US manufacturers Cirrus Logic and Digital Semiconductor to make a range of ARM processors for handheld devices available to third parties.