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Smart phones eclipse PDAs, says IDC

Tash Shrifrin

Sales of handheld computers are slowing DOWN as people switch to converged devices or smart phones, according to new figures from market analyst IDC.

Results from IDC’s latest European Mobile Device Market Tracker survey show the overall market for mobile devices – including standalone personal digital assistants and converged devices – in western Europe grew by 91% in the second quarter of 2005.

Shipments of mobile devices reached 3.4 million  units compared with 1.8 million units in the second quarter of 2004.

Demand for standalone handhelds remained steady, with a growth of 7% against the same period last year.

But IDC found that sustained competition from converged devices was hitting the standalone PDA’s overall share of the mobile devices market. PDAs accounted for just 21% of shipments in the second quarter of 2005, down from 37% in the same period of 2004.

Leading PDA manufacturers Hewlett-Packard and Palm also saw their market share continue to fall amid stiff competition from integrated GPS devices.

In the converged devices segment of the market data-centric rather than voice-based smart phones showed the most significant growth in sales, helped by consumer demand for media-oriented devices and growing interest in the technology from businesses.


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