Quietly, PalmOne Launches Retail Stores

PalmOne Inc., faced with slumping sales of what was once a must-have consumer gadget, is taking the story of handheld computers directly to the public with its own retail stores. Following in the footsteps of electronics makers Apple Computer Inc., Gateway and Sony Corp., PalmOne on Friday unveiled its flagship store in Philadelphia's International Airport. It brings to 11 locations the Milpitas, California-based company has quietly opened since 2002.

The stores, in coastal states such as New Jersey and California and ranging from walk-through kiosks to large shopping mall and airport locations, will help PalmOne introduce low-end Zire and business-driven Tungsten handhelds and Treo mobile phones to consumers who do not normally shop in stores like Best Buy or Circuit City. "Our objective was to build up our own retail outlets, where we could educate and get brand presence in high traffic areas," said PalmOne executive Kanwal Sharma in an interview.

News source: Reuters

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