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Handheld-computer maker



said it laid off about 20% of its workforce, or 80 employees, mostly in its marketing division, in order to achieve its first break-even quarter at the end of this year.

The company said the cuts reflect a new strategy to reduce marketing costs by relying on wireless carriers to do the heavy lifting.

For instance, Handspring said its relationship with

Sprint PCS

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is an indication of the type of deals it will seek in the future. Handspring designed its latest organizer and phone hybrid, the Treo 300, according to the carrier's specifications when Sprint PCS launched its high-speed data network. As a result, Sprint PCS commercials and advertisements prominently feature the Handspring device.

Two senior executives were affected by Handspring's layoffs. The vice president of corporate marketing, Karen Sipprell, and chief information officer, Glenn Noga, were let go, according to Handspring spokesman Allen Bush. The company now has 300 employees.

Handspring shares closed up 8 cents, or 7.8%, at $1.10 on Wednesday following the news.

The restructuring helps "reduce our cost structure and reduces

the point at which we can break even," said Bush, who declined to specify the cost savings and employee-severance charges the company will take as a result of the layoffs. Bush said details will be furnished when Handspring reports the results of its September quarter on Oct. 17.

In July, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company said it expected to post sales of $50 million to $60 million for the September quarter, and a loss of 7 cents to 10 cents a share. It expects to break even in the December quarter, with revenue of $80 million to $90 million.