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IDC: Worldwide handheld device shipments decline 12% from previous year

Apr 27, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

The worldwide market for handheld devices declined in the first quarter of 2004 due to seasonally sluggish demand and vendor refocusing, according to market analyst IDC's “Worldwide Handheld QView.” Device shipments decreased 11.7 percent year-on-year in 1Q04, and dropped sequentially 33.1 percent to 2.2 million units.

IDC earlier reported that worldwide handheld sales in 2003 declined from 2002 levels, at the same that smartphone shipments grew some 400 percent.

While vendor commitment to entry-level devices at lower price points has helped to grow the handheld user base, many would-be handheld purchasers obtained their devices during the holiday shopping season in the fourth quarter of last year. As a result, despite growth in the European market, the seasonal slump hit vendors particularly hard during the first quarter of this year. The market was also strongly impacted by a number of vendors focusing on trimming down their product offerings and clearing their channels in preparation for spring product launches.

“Despite increasingly powerful handheld devices reaching market, the consumer uptake of entry-level devices available from nearly every vendor calls into question the upgrade path and value posed by the high-end devices. If entry-level devices prove to be the most successful products adopted by consumers, the long-term impact could be acceleration away from hardware differentiation and a further loss of value in the handheld industry,” commented David Linsalata, analyst in IDC's Mobile Devices program. “Handheld device vendors must continue to search for consumer and enterprise solutions for their products, such as GPS device bundles, that utilize the range of capabilities contained in a handheld device.”

Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide Handheld Device Shipments and Market Share, 1Q 2004 (Preliminary)

Rank Vendor 1Q 2004 Shipments 1Q 2004 Market Share
1 palmOne 810,183 36.1%
2 Hewlett-Packard 577,615 25.7%
3 Sony 209,675 9.3%
4 Dell 157,399 7.0%
5 Toshiba 49,067 2.2%
Other 442,560 19.7%
Total 2,246,499 100.0%

Notes relating to the above table:

  • Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.
  • Handheld devices are pocket-sized, either pen or keypad-centric, and are capable of synchronizing with desktop or laptop computers. Handheld devices are designed to access and manage data including office documents, multimedia, and games.
  • Handheld devices do not include telephony but may include wireless capabilities that enable Internet access and text communication. These devices feature evolved operating systems or application environments, such as Palm OS, Pocket PC, Windows CE, Handheld PC 2000, Linux or proprietary solutions and have the ability to download and run applications and store user data beyond their required PIM capabilities.

Copyright © 2004, IDC. All rights reserved. Reproduced by with permission.

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