October 28, 2004 9:53 AM PDT

IDC: Handheld sales continue to slide

The global market for handheld devices continues to dwindle, according to data released by IDC this week. The industry has recorded a year-over-year fall for the third successive quarter, the researcher said.

Shipments in the third quarter fell to 2.1 million units, down 4.6 percent compared with the second quarter, and down 8.7 percent compared with the third quarter of last year, the market researcher said.


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IDC attributed the dip to a drop in shipments from PalmOne and to the gradual withdrawal of Sony from the U.S. market.

PalmOne saw a decline in shipments of 20.3 percent compared with the second quarter, IDC said, and 12.7 percent compared with the third quarter of last year. Its market share is now 34.7 percent, IDC said. However, the market researcher also said PalmOne expects stronger sales during the holiday season. PalmOne recently released a new Treo smart phone with a higher-resolution screen and a faster processor.

By contrast, Hewlett-Packard saw its shipments rise 22.4 percent, compared with the second quarter, and 11.7 percent compared with the third quarter of last year. Its market share is now 30.6 percent, IDC said.

With its x30 device, Dell increased its sales 29.7 percent compared with the second quarter and 44 percent compared with the third quarter of last year. IDC said the recent release of the x50, as well as the company's direct-sales model, could help Dell see a strong fourth quarter.

Mitac International, which occupies the fourth-highest slot in the rankings with its low-cost handhelds, has 3.2 percent market share, IDC said. Its shipments shot up 210 percent compared with the second quarter, IDC said, and 1008 percent compared with the third quarter of last year.

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