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Slump in non-phone handheld shipments persists

Feb 8, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Despite seasonal increases posted by several vendors during Q4, the market for non-phone handheld devices continued its downward trend throughout 2006, IDC reports. Only 5.5 million units shipped during 2006, 28.5 percent less than in 2005, while Q4 sank a whopping 35.9 percent from Q4-05, to 1.5 million units.

IDC's definition of “handheld devices,” it should be noted, includes units that provide wireless capabilities, such as Internet access and text communication, but excludes “converged devices” with integrated telephony functions. Interestingly, such devices have just been relegated to the category of “Classic” in Microsoft's newly unveiled Windows Mobile 6 nomenclature.

Apparently, non-phone handhelds — aka PDAs (personal digital assistants) — are being crowded out of the market by increasingly sophisticated cellphones, particularly those in the smartphone category. Ramon Llamas, a research analyst with IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team, stated that “The handheld devices market is under intense pressure from networked mobile devices. Features found on handheld devices, including personal information management (PIM) functionality, multimedia, and Bluetooth connectivity have also been included on converged mobile devices (commonly known as smartphones) and high-end phones.”

Vendor Rankings

IDC's top-five vendor rankings for the fourth quarter and full year 2006, including shipments and market share percents, are shown in the following two tables.

Top Five Handheld Device Vendors — 4Q 2006 (Preliminary)

Vendor Shipments Market Share Shipments Market Share Y/Y Growth
Palm 582,000 39.8% 1,019,464 44.7% -42.9%
HP 364,000 24.9% 465,000 20.4% -21.7%
Mio 129,027 8.8% 76,305 3.3% 69.1%
Dell 110,400 7.6% 178,500 7.8% -38.2%
Acer 52,000 3.6% 124,114 5.4% -58.1%
Others 223,467 15.3% 414,856 18.2% -46.1%
TOTAL 1,460,894 100.0% 2,278,239 100.0% -35.9%

(Source: IDC Worldwide Handheld QView, February 8, 2007)

Top Five Handheld Device Vendors — Full Year 2006 (Preliminary)

Vendor Shipments Market Share Shipments Market Share Y/Y Growth
Palm 1,982,000 36.3% 2,763,139 36.1% -28.3%
HP 1,210,000 22.1% 1,739,365 22.7% -30.4%
Dell 490,000 9.0% 735,929 9.6% -33.4%
Mio 442,893 8.1% 342,664 4.5% 29.2%
Sharp 297,500 5.4% 79,181 1.0% 275.7%
Others 1,044,094 19.1% 1,986,360 26.0% -47.4%
TOTAL 5,466,487 100.0% 7,646,638 100.0% -28.5%

(Source: IDC Worldwide Handheld QView, February 8, 2007)

IDC expects the downward trend to continue in 2007, it said.


 
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