Handheld device market continues to slide

Research firm IDC reports that the handheld market continues to slide, recording its thirteenth consecutive quarter of year-over-year decline. No big surprise but users are rapidly transitioning to converged mobile devices that include telephony as well as other consumer electronics devices. About 900,000 devices shipped in the first quarter of 2007, down about 41 percent from the same quarter a year ago and 36.3 percent from the previous quarter. The decrease in shipments coincides with the announcement that one of the leading vendors, Dell, is leaving the industry.

Palm continued to lead the handheld segment with shipments just under 300,000 units with HP in second place (with about 200,000 units shipped). Mio, Dell and Sharp round out the top five vendors with Mio being the only vendor to record year-over-year growth (up 32.5 percent).

IDC defines handhelds as being pocket-sized, either pen or keypad-centric and capable of synchronizing with desktop or laptop computers but lacking telephony capabilities.

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