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Wednesday, 11 July, 2001, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
A history of Psion
David Levin
David Levin was appointed chief executive in February 1999
Psion was founded in 1980 by Chairman David Potter.

The first three years were spent as a publisher and developer of software for home computers.

The company began to develop hardware in 1984.

In October 1984 it launched the world's first volume-produced handheld computer.

It was this product that catapulted Psion into the ranks of a leading technology firm.

Creating new sections

But it was also working on a number of other new technologies.

And this led the group to spawn new divisions including Psion InfoMedia, Psion Connect and Psion Enterprise Computers.

Symbian was established as an independent company in June 1998, by Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia and Psion.

Matsushita joined the Symbian joint venture as a shareholder in May 1999.

But the investment in Symbian, which aims to create an industry-standard software for the next generation of wireless products, sent Psion profits tumbling in the first half of 1999.

New boss

David Potter handed the reins over to a new chief executive David Levin in February 1999, after 19 years of rapid growth.

In September 2000, the Psion Enterprise division merged with Teklogix, creating the Psion Teklogix group.

And a new division, Psion Digital, was created in March 2001 to focus on innovative product creation for both hardware and software.

Shares in Psion peaked in March 2000, at the height of the technology boom.

But the collapse of the sector, and fierce competition from US rival Palm led shares to fall about 95%.

It issued a profits warnings in October 2000, saying that earnings for 2001 would be "well below" expectations.

And in July 2001 it announced that it was abandoning its Bluetooth section and stopping production of its flagship handheld computers.

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