High-Flying Phones

Watch out, Bill Gates: Europeans are getting a jump on the next information revolution. A British company called Psion is giving brains to new mobile phones that receive e-mail, surf the Internet and

For a painfully long time, people have been asking David Potter, chairman of British computer maker Psion, "When are you going to die?" It's nothing personal, only that Potter's company--the maker of sleek hand-held computers, with annual sales of just $235 million--is sitting astride a market now being targeted by Bill Gates and giant Microsoft Corp., plus a dozen of the world's leading computer-hardware manufacturers. The battle became so intense earlier this year that Potter was forced to issue a warning about reduced profits, and Psion's stock price took a beating.

Seized upon as a David-vs.-Goliath tale by Britain's press, Potter's...

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