[NTLK] OT? - Interesting bit from InfoWorld newsletter - handheld shipments sliding

From: Jim Witte (jswitte_at_bloomington.in.us)
Date: Fri Jul 29 2005 - 00:31:58 PDT

Handheld shipments continue to slide
Palm shipments down 30 percent, Hewlett-Packard drops 39 percent

By Ephraim Schwartz
July 27, 2005
For the sixth quarter in a row of year-over-year comparisons,
worldwide handheld device sales declined. Second quarter 2005
shipments decreased by 20.8 percent compared to second quarter 2004,
according to IDC.

Second quarter 2005 shipments also fell 24.9 percent from first
quarter 2005 shipments.

According to Kevin Burden, research manager of IDC's Mobile Devices
program, the drop can be attributed at least in part to stiff
competition from converged mobile devices.

"The majority of people are looking at converged devices or smart
phones. There's less of a reason for having a PDA in one's pocket
when you have a smart phone to be your primary phone and it can do
the functions of a PDA," said Burden.

The IDC Quarterly View noted that Palm's market share dropped about 4
percent, while shipments were down 30.9 percent year over year.

However, there was one bright spot for the market leader and perhaps
for handheld industry in general: Palm saw a 31.1 percent boost in
shipments for its new LifeDrive device.

The LifeDrive is the first handheld to include a 4GB hard drive and
to allow users to synchronize folders and entire directories from the
handheld to the desktop.

The IDC report says another quarter will be needed before the true
impact of LifeDrive can be assessed. But it may mean that if handheld
manufacturers can find the right combination of unique features, they
can turn the decline around or at least stop the precipitous drop in

Acer seems to have also done that with its n35 handheld. Shipping for
only a couple of months, the n35, which includes GPS technology, saw
a 61.1 percent increase in shipments from last quarter. Acer went
from 1.3 percent market share in 2004 to 11.2 percent in 2005.

Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard also did poorly with a year-over-year
decline in shipments of 39.3 percent and a sequential loss from the
first quarter 2005 of 35.2 percent.

See the chart below for a comparison of handheld shipments and market
share between second quarter 2005 and 2004 for the top five handheld

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