David Potter, the founder of Psion and many would suggest, the inspiration behind the whole palmtop market has stepped down from his role as chairman of the company. John Hawkins formally takes over today, having served on Psion’s board of directors since 2002.
David Potter, started Psion (Which had a really interesting logo as the symbols above the name, represent parts of the letters themselves) PSION was said to stand for Potters Scientific Instruments or Nothing.
Psion began life as a software company in 1980 and developed both the operating systems which started with EPOC and went on to produce a range of innovative handheld devices that became a worldwide success. The Series 3 was a massive turning point in design and gained a huge popularity around the world including a large number of famous people. The Series 3a still has its place in the British Science Museum and won many design awards.
The 5mx that followed again allowed Psion to remain at the forefront of the handheld market, but an aborted joint venture with Motorola for a smartphone was to change the direction of Psion and take them away from handheld devices to the great disappointment of many users. Such was the following that we still supply re-manufactured devices to a few ardent users around the world.
There were many, inc some Psion executives, who, after the decision was made that felt Psion could have gone on to produce another world beating device, but the cost of design and manufacture meant the risk was felt to be too high. It would have been great to see inside Psion design studios at the end to gain an insight into what may have been.
The Psion EPOC OS went on the become Symbian which was eventually purchased by Nokia and used on all their smartphones.
Psion has been closely linked with Clove Technology and was the reason we succeeded in the early years of our business.
There has never really been a true successor to the Psion 5mx, an opportunity still exists then….. over to you Psion?
Potter said in 2007 that the "genes of Psion software" were in many of the smartphones available on the market today. "That’s the high ground it has, and that’s its success."
A personal thank you to David for all your innovation, it is a shame there are not more UK entrepreneurs that can bring this level of technical ability and design together to create a world leading product. I am sure a lot of us would have liked to see Psion still dominating the Smartphone market.