Hoping to duplicate the IPO success of its bigger rival





filed for an IPO Friday, aiming to raise $300 million to jumpstart it's hand-held computer business, featuring its Visor organizer.

The revenue earned from the sale of Handspring's common shares will be used for general corporate purposes, the company said in its filing with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

. It hired

Credit Suisse First Boston

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as lead underwriter.

Handspring aims to compete with Palm's handheld computer business by offering the same operating platform as the Palm Pilot, but adding an expansion slot that lets the Visor perform like a pager, MP3 audio player or digital camera.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based Handspring said that 2,000 developers have registered to create modules that can be snapped into the expansion slot.

On March 2, following its

IPO, Palm began trading at 145 and quickly surged to 165, closing at 95 1/16. The 150% gain gave the company a market capitalization of $53.4 billion after one day of trading and $874 million to date. On Friday, Palm was trading down 1 5/8, or 3%, at 44 7/8 in afternoon trading. (Palm closed down 1 5/8, or 3%, at 44 7/8).

Despite the intensifying competition, the market for handheld computers is booming.

International Data

estimates worldwide shipments of smart hand held computers will grow to 35.5 million in 2003 from about 6.8 million units in 1998.

The preliminary SEC filing did not disclose details of the offering, such as price range, number of shares offered or ticker symbol, which are expected to follow in future filings. The shares will be listed on