HP grabs top spot in handheld shipments

HP grabbed a whopping 49.2% of the Middle East and Africa market for data-centric handheld devices in the fourth quarter of 2003 according to research house Canalys.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  March 16, 2004

HP grabbed a whopping 49.2% of the Middle East and Africa market for handheld devices in the fourth quarter of 2003 according to the numbercrunchers at research house Canalys. This figure put HP more than 10% ahead of its nearest rival in the market. HP’s Middle East and Africa handheld unit shipments were more than five times the figure recorded a year earlier outstripping the overall sector’s growth rate. HP put its growth rate at 408%. “We have aggressively pursued the number one position in the handheld market for the last quarter, and it is our customer base and their loyalty, along with differentiated and award-winning products, that are proving to be a successful strategy for HP and will maintain our position for the future,” said Christoph Schell, General Manager for Personal Systems Group, HP Middle East. Much of HP’s growth in the handheld sector can be attributed to corporate rollouts of handheld devices in major Middle East verticals including oil and gas, pharmaceutical, hospitality and manufacturing. HP has recorded project wins in countries across the region, including Egypt, Oman, Saudi Arabia and UAE. In the wider, Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) theatre, Canalys highlighted HP as the clear winner in the data-centric handheld device sector with a 32.9% market share with Palm coming in second with 24.9% of the market. Total EMEA shipments for data-centric handhelds hit 1.23 million in the fourth quarter of 2003, breaking the million barrier for the first time. In EMEA as a whole, HP shipped 406,420 handheld units in the fourth quarter of 2003. While taking nothing away from HP’s impressive growth rates and marketshare, it is worth noting that corporate deployments and a relatively small number of unit shipments in the Middle East a year earlier helped produce such a sharp increase in shipment volumes. Percentage increases unaccompanied by specific regional unit shipment volumes should always be treated with caution — especially in emerging product segments. Increased convergence of data-centric and voice-centric devices is also an area that vendors from both sides of the fence need to address. The emergence of smartphones is pushing vendors such as Nokia and Sony Ericsson on the voice side and HP and Palm on the data side ever closer together. Expect collaboration agreements to emerge between them or for the data guys to jump the fence completely and become serious contenders in the voice arena.

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