Handheld shipments slipped in the first quarter of 2004, according to a new report from IDC.
The Framingham, Mass.-based research firm said that shipments worldwide declined 11.7 percent from the same period last year, and 33.1 percent from the fourth quarter, to 2.2 million units.
Although handheld sales typically dip in the first quarter, which follows holiday-related shopping in the fourth quarter, this drop was steeper than usual, says IDC.
IDC analyst David Linsalata said that a number of factors were at play, including increased saturation in the U.S. handheld market and competition from other devices, such as smart phones.
Handheld maker PalmOne Inc. retained its lead for the quarter, shipping 810,183 handhelds, but the Milpitas, Calif., company saw a 38.7 percent decline in shipments from the previous quarter, according to IDC.
Following behind PalmOne was Palo Alto, Calif.-based Hewlett-Packard Co.—the leading provider of Pocket PC-based handhelds—which shipped 577,615 units in the first quarter, according to IDC. HP saw a 32.9 percent drop in shipments from the previous quarter, but saw a 24.8 percent jump in shipments year-over-year, said IDC.
Sony Electronics Inc., which sells Palm-based handhelds, claimed the No. 3 spot, shipping 209,675 handhelds in the quarter, followed by Pocket PC-based device providers Dell Inc., with 157,399, and Toshiba Corp., with 49,067.
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