Smartphones Up, Handhelds Down?

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Smartphones Up, Handhelds Down?

Compare this quote from an analyst firm today:
"The global handheld market continued to slide in 2004, with shipments slipping to below 10 million for the first time since 1999, according to a new IDC report."
with this quote from another analyst firm from 2 days ago:
"A research firm says device manufacturers shipped twice as many smartphones last year as in 2003"

The first quote was from a Cnet article citing an IDC report titled, Handheld market free fall continues , while the second quote was from Canalys, an analyst/research firm which was cited here.

I find it fascinating that one research firm claims handhelds are slipping, while the other claims that smartphones are growing when essentially smartphones are handheld/cellphone hybrids. Smartphones and handheld PDAs are essentially the same market. Of course, maybe that's the point. Maybe more people are no longer buying standalone handheld PDAs and are instead buying smartphone PDAs? It's one less device to carry for sure. Still, there are certain applications where a handheld PDA is better suited, especially since they typically have a larger screen than smartphones.

I'm sure these two reports, especially the negative handheld IDC report will get lots of press play on the Net.

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