Worldwide handheld market continues to decline

The worldwide market for handheld devices continued to decline in the second quarter of 2003 due to seasonality and sluggish demand from businesses and consumers alike.

  • E-Mail
By  Matthew Southwell Published  July 23, 2003

The worldwide market for handheld devices continued to decline in the second quarter of 2003 due to seasonality and sluggish demand from businesses and consumers alike. According to the latest figures from IDC, worldwide handheld device shipments fell by 10.7% year-on-year in 2Q03 and dropped sequentially by 10.2% to 2.27 million units.

"This quarter illustrates the handheld device market’s struggle to grow beyond its roots. Personal information management is a killer application for 30 million individuals worldwide, but handheld devices lack an application that will further expand their appeal and differentiate them from technologies targeting similar market segments,” says Ross Sealfon, research analyst in IDC’s smart handheld devices programme.

IDC says a number of factors have contributed to the falling demand for handhelds, including scarce funds within IT departments and their focus on other technologies. Furthermore, competition from alternative form factors and limited overall appeal continues to limit consumer interest as well. As such, the analyst house believes vendors will struggle to grow their markets.

“Combined with worldwide economic uncertainty and an increasingly crowded market, handheld device vendors will have a difficult time building and maintaining market share," says Sealfon.

On the vendor front, Palm retained its lead in the worldwide handheld market while HP solidified its number two position. However, with the launch of five new devices in June the company is poised to increase market share. Elsewhere, Sony's market share declined from 16.5% in 1Q03 to 11.3% this quarter due to slower than expected sales of new models, while Dell's worldwide shipments also declined slightly.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code