The world leader in the handheld computer market, Palm, plans to announce on Tuesday that it will begin manufacturing low-priced models in Brazil, according to the company. A source close to the project who preferred to remain unnamed said the firm was planning on producing less expensive models of its handheld computers such as the Zine line that sells currently for about 399 reais ($140) in Brazil.
Handheld computers have become widely popular in recent years for storing all sorts of digital information that people want readily at their fingertips such as telephone numbers, pictures, to-do lists and ideas. "It's going to be good for them (Palm)," said Marcelo Quintas, an analyst for the local company research firm IDC. "It is a good strategy because it avoids fluctuations in the dollar and can reduce (production) costs too."
"Aside from this, they will be able to export to Peru, Chile, Argentina and Venezuela," said Quintas who added that Brazil's handheld computer market is growing at about 10 percent a year. Palm controls more than 60 percent of the local handheld computer market and has been active in Brazil since 2000 importing its products that are assembled in North America.