The news is not getting better for traditional PDA manufacturers. The last quarter marked the fifteenth consecutive decline in handheld shipments according to market research firm IDC. Less than 800,000 handheld devices shipped, a 39.3 percent decline from the same quarter a year ago but 1.5 percent up from the previous quarter. “The handheld device market has been under constant pressure, with mobile phones and converged mobile devices appropriating many of the handheld’s salient attributes,” says Ramon T. Llamas, research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Device Technology and Trends team. “Handheld product portfolios have suffered as vendors have reallocated their production resources.” But there remains a loyal core, predominantly in the enterprise space and in emerging markets.
The top five vendors are Palm (325,000 units shipped), HP (198,100 units shipped), Mio (81,903 units shipped), Fujitsu-Siemens (39,519 units shipped) and Sharp (17,500 units shipped). All recorded year-over-year declines except Fujitsu-Siemens.
IDC defines handhelds as devices that are pocket-sized, either pen or keypad-centric with the ability to synchronize with PCs, potentially with wireless capabilities but lacking telephony support.