Danger May Soon Rule the Handheld Market

Now that Sony has dropped out of the U.S. and European handheld markets, small companies such as Danger are the ones to watch, Rob Enderle writes.

Disclaimer: Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Microsoft all are clients of mine.

Last week, while I was on vacation, Sony dropped out of the U.S. and European handheld markets. Theres some doubt whether the company will continue even in Japan.

PalmOne has emerged as the dominant vendor in this declining segment, and even Microsoft doesnt seem to be aggressively supporting it anymore.

But RIM has been growing in high double digits, Good Technology has acquired massive additional funding, and Danger cant build enough Hiptop products to come close to meeting demand.

/zimages/4/28571.gifGiven the competition in the handheld market, analysts werent surprised at Sonys pullout. Click here to read more.

Frankly, Im getting tired of pointing out that a handheld computer that isnt connected solidly to a WAN service provider is trending to be a doorstop. This was brought to a point today when I met with Danger and spoke to PalmSource on the phone.

PalmSource is increasing its concentration on smart-phone platforms for growth, and Danger had generated more demand than its current manufacturer can handle.

Both see the powerful, emerging smart-phone market as the next big thing. According to the literature packed with new copies of Microsoft Office, Microsoft appears to concur.

Next page: Dangers the one to watch.