FRAMINGHAM, Mass., February 2, 2006 – The worldwide market for handheld devices swelled to its largest quarterly shipment volume all year, reaching 2.2 million units during the fourth quarter, growing 37.6% from the previous quarter. According to IDC’s Worldwide Handheld QView, growth was driven largely by a combination of holiday sales and larger shipment volumes of devices that were introduced earlier in the year. But despite reaching its zenith during the year, shipment volumes decreased 18.2% from the same quarter a year ago. For full year 2005, shipments of handheld devices reached 7.5 million units, a 16.7% decrease from the 9.1 million units shipped in 2004.”Vendors with a global footprint still lead the worldwide market, but more and more, vendors with a multi- or even a single region focus have earned top five worldwide status with their focused shipment distribution,” said Ramon Llamas, research analyst at IDC’s Mobile Markets group. “The departure of other worldwide vendors has opened the door for smaller vendors to improve their position within the market. During the course of the year, several smaller vendors remained within striking distance of beating each other for the number four or five position, and even posed a challenge to some of the worldwide vendors.”Although the market has been under immense pressure by the rise in shipments of converged mobile devices (devices that combine the PIM functionality of a handheld device with telephony), Llamas adds that vendors still remain committed to the handheld market. “New devices continue to come out from the market leaders, aimed at different user types and offered at different price points. With the addition of GPS solutions, multimedia capability, and WiFi connectivity, handhelds offer additional value beyond just PIM for the user.”Vendor Highlights Palm. Palm maintained its position as the worldwide leader within the handheld device market, reaching its highest shipment volumes all year. Palm grew its shipments 109.7% from last quarter, but also experienced a 13.2% decline from the same quarter a year ago. With 45.6% market share, the company more than doubled the second-place vendor, HP. Hewlett-Packard. Growing 16.9% from last quarter, HP remained the clear number two vendor of handheld devices for the quarter, claiming 20.8% market share. Although this marked yet another positive sequential increase for HP, its shipments decreased 33.1% year over year, the largest decrease among the top five vendors. HP more than doubled the shipments of the number three worldwide vendor, Dell. Dell. Climbing one spot into the number three position is Dell, which improved its shipment volumes 10.2% from last quarter, but slipped 9.2% from the same quarter a year ago. As a result, Dell grabbed 8.0% worldwide market share. With several models reaching end of life at the beginning of the quarter, the company experienced strong fourth quarter demand with the X51 series. Although this marked Dell’s return to the number three position after a two quarter hiatus, its position is hardly secure with Acer following behind by just 50,000 units. Acer. After enjoying two quarters in the number three spot, Acer’s worldwide shipment volumes decreased 33.1% sequentially, the only vendor among the top five to experience a sequential decline. At the same time, Acer was the only vendor among the top five to have a positive year-over-year improvement at an impressive 110.4%. By the end of the quarter, Acer earned 5.7% worldwide market share.Medion. Rounding out and returning to the top five vendor list after a two quarter absence is Medion, whose shipments grew an astounding 287.8% from the previous quarter, the largest sequential increase of any of the top five vendors. When compared to its volumes from a year ago, shipments decreased 15.7%. Unlike the top four vendors, the majority of Medion’s shipments have been confined within Western Europe, making it the only company with a single regional footprint to earn top five worldwide honors, and ultimately took 4.3% market share. Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide Handheld Device Shipments and Market Share, 4Q 2005 (Preliminary) Rank Vendor 4Q 2005 Shipments 4Q 2005 Market Share 4Q 2004 Shipments 4Q 2004 Market Share 1 Palm 1,019,464 45.6% 1,174,371 43.0% 2 HP 465,000 20.8% 695,427 25.4% 3 Dell 178,500 8.0% 196,572 7.2% 4 Acer 126,602 5.7% 60,197 2.2% 5 Medion 96,942 4.3% 115,000 4.2% Others 349,067 15.6% 491,849 18.0% Total 2,235,575 100.0% 2,733,386 100.0% Source: IDC Handheld QView, February 2, 2006 Notes: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors. Handheld devices are pocket-sized, either pen or keypad-centric, and are capable of synchronizing with desktop or laptop computers. Handheld devices are designed to access and manage data including office documents, multimedia, and games. Handheld devices do not include telephony but may include wireless capabilities that enable Internet access and text communication. These devices feature evolved operating systems or applications environments such as the Palm OS, Windows Mobile Pocket PC, Linux, or other proprietary platforms with the ability to download, run applications, and store user data beyond their required PIM capabilities.IDC’s Worldwide Handheld QView provides device vendors, software developers, service providers, and component suppliers with timely and accurate information on the worldwide handheld market. The program provides quarterly measurements of worldwide unit shipments and vendor market shares.
“And the main problem that Motorola faced with its first phones was high energy consumption, as phones were dual processor. One of them was responsible for a Linux component (which is actually an interface of an application), and another one deal with network functions. The operating system was not optimized for smartphones, which resulted in low indexes and required a more capacious battery. A typical JUIX product worked about a day in real life, or one and a half day at best. So, the company was afraid that European market won’t treat such devices seriously, and that is why they were released only in Asia. Motorola A780 is an example of such a JUIX product, which may be regarded as a representative of the first generation. In fact, support for a touchscreen is no trouble for a JUIX solution.” Read more here:
“Spb Software House announces the release of Spb Diary 1.7. Spb Diary is a feature-rich Today plug-in for your Calendar, Tasks, Contacts, Notes and Messages. It enhances Pocket Outlook by gathering all of your PIM information in one place. The new version introduces a bundle of new features like the Messages Tab, an auto-height adjustment feature, native birthdays support and integration with Spb Finance as well as improved speed, better usability in the Notes Tab and many other changes. It is the hundreds of small features and improvements that altogether make a product truly useful and this is what we set out to accomplish with Spb Diary 1.7. The main goal for this release was to make Spb Diary so easy and fast to use, that you can almost forget about it and concentrate on your business.”NEW! Messages tab (E-mail and SMS)NEW! Auto-height adjustementNEW! Birthdays and anniversariesNEW! Integration with Spb Weather and Spb FinanceWindows Mobile 5 supportFive PIM Today plug-ins in oneTabs for Calendar, Tasks, Contacts, Notes and MessagesIntegration with all popular PIMsVGA resolution (480×640) and landscape screen support
PMPs are growing in popularity and exposure. The latest update comes from Hama, and it is the Mobile MediaSafe VSV2.An upgrade of the company’s VSV-20, the new PMP sports a 3.5-inch screen, a 30GB drive, and a battery that can last 10 hours. Support options include DivX, MPEG4, and Windows Media 10 DRM. Data transfer can take place via USB, CF, SD, MM MemoryCards, MemorySticks, or MicroDrives. And not as if you need it, but it also has a remote.The size of a deck of cards, the VSV2 has an FM tuner and can also double as a DVR if hooked up to a television.It will be formally unveiled at the CeBIT show in a few weeks and available commercially shortly thereafter. via mobilemag.com
“What’s amazing about the 9300i (and its close cousin the 9300) is the size of the device. A few years ago the size of a closed 9300i would have been a great size on its own for a new phone (the Nokia 6230 springs to mind in terms of size). And while it’s a little bit bigger than the norm, it’s now possible pull out a communicator in the pub without getting laughed at. One of the biggest benefits to this is that it’s comfortable to use as a phone, it fits nicely in the hand, and can stay welded to your ear with no problems.” Read this review at allaboutsymbian.com
The Nokia N91, the music focused phone with a hard disk, and the E70, the enterprise focused phone with a gulwing form factor, have been approved by the FCC. The documents available include internal pictures (where the N91’s hard disk is visible) and the user manuals. The N91 user manual reveals the N91 will innclude UPnP support and includes details on the Music Shop application which will allow users to download music over the air to their phones and the PC Music Sync (which uses Windows Media Player Highlights revealed from the manual about the music functionality of the phone include: Music Shop allowing purchase and download over the air from a client application. PC Sync of music files via Windows Media Player 11 (via USB Cable), including Janus DRM protected WMA files. View as a external hard disk and transfer files (via USB, Bluetooth or WiFi/WLAN). Creation and editing of equaliser presets. Creation and editing of playlists via the Music application on the phone. Edit details of music file (ID3 tags editing) via the Music application on the phone. Support for Album Art (including choosing your own image from the Phone’s Gallery application). Set as song as the ringtone of the phone.The Music Shop application is a generic ‘service type’ application and has settings that can be specified by the user (although these can be locked by an operator). This service/settings based architecture is similar to that used in SMS / MMS services. In most instances the user will use the default settings provided by an operator. However the Music Shop application is service agnostic, meaning it can be connected to any service which supports it. The music shop allows you to search for and download music to your N91 directly from the phone.Other new functionality of note includes: UPnP support which allows for the sharing of files (the extent of this functionality is not clear as it looks like a later addition to the manual [see indexes]). Universl Plug and Play will almost certainly facillitate the sharing of playlists and music talked about by Nokia at the phones launch. It should also allow you to play music from your N91 to your home WiFi provided it is UPnP compatiable (or has a UPnP adaptor). Flash Player allow playing of Flash Lite files which may include simple animation or videos or full fledged mobile applications (examples at the Flash Lite exchange). Support for SVG Graphics which are viewed in the Gallery application as Presentations. SVG Graphics are often used for maps and cartoons and maintain their appearance when viewed at different resoltuions.There also details on the usual S60 application including (deep breath) Messaging, Contacts, Calendar, Camera (max. image capture at 1600 x 1200, max. video capture at 352 x 288), Gallery, Services (not the newer KHTML based web browser), Real Player (video and audio), Recorder, Visual Radio, Notes, Log, Calculator, Converter, Voice Commands, Application Manager, IM (now supports saving of Chat transcripts), and Push To Talk.Of course the usual caveats apply – this is a draft manual and is subject to change, and your operator may remove some of the mentioned applications of functions.