Lack of New Devices Contribute to Continued Decline of Handheld Market

The worldwide market for handheld devices continued along its downward path during the third quarter of 2006. According to IDC’s Worldwide Handheld QView, total worldwide shipments of handheld devices fell to 1.1 million units, down 15.4% from the previous quarter and down 31.3% from the same quarter one year ago. This quarter constitutes the eleventh consecutive quarter of year-on-year decline for the worldwide handheld market. “Contributing significantly to the decrease in shipments this quarter was a lack of new devices being announced or shipped to the market,” said Ramon Llamas, research analyst for IDC’s Mobile Markets team. “Vendors continue to rely on models that have been on the market anywhere between two and four quarters. Without many new devices on the market in the third quarter, it brings into question how shipments will total during the fourth quarter when vendors typically expect a boost in shipments as a result of new devices coming to market.” The absence of new models does not necessarily mean the end of the handheld market, however. “There are users who remain fiercely loyal to their handheld devices, and smaller niche users have emerged,” Llamas added. “For example, in some developing markets, the handheld device has been tremendously important in self-education, enabling users to continue learning outside the classroom once they have downloaded content through the PC. If usage for specific non-network tasks like self-education increase, we could expect an increase in shipments and possibly new devices that are optimized for particular tasks.” Top Five Handheld Device Vendor Highlights Palm. The Sunnyvale, California-based company remains the overall market leader, but was not immune from seeing its shipments drop year over year. After releasing both the Palm Z22 and the TX nearly a year ago, the company has yet to refresh its portfolio with a new device.HP. HP remains the clear number two vendor in the handheld device market and the largest Microsoft Pocket PC-enabled handheld device vendor, with more than double the shipments of the next two vendors behind it. Of the leading vendors, however, HP suffered the largest year-on-year decline in shipments. Dell. U.S.-based Dell finished the quarter in a tie with Mio for third place. The company has finished phasing out some of the older models from its portfolio and is concentrating on developing the Axim X51 platform with faster processors and more memory. Mio. Having established itself as the number four vendor last quarter, Taiwan-based Mio took another step forward by tying with Dell for the number three position worldwide. Mio bucked the trend of declining year-on-year shipment levels by posting a 5.0% increase from one year ago. The company will face further competition from Dell for the number three position, but easily outpaces the next vendor, Sharp. Sharp. Returning to the top 5 is Japanese vendor Sharp, which enjoyed the largest gain in year-on-year shipments. Several vendors follow closely behind Sharp, however, with fewer than 20,000 units separating it from the likes of ASUSTeK, Acer, and Fujitsu/Siemens. Top Five Vendors, Worldwide Handheld Device Shipments and Market Share, Q3 2006 Vendor 3Q06 Unit Shipments 3Q06 Market Share 3Q05 Unit Shipments 3Q05 Market Share 3Q06/3Q05 Growth 1. Palm 450,000 40.9% 490,000 30.6% -8.2% 2. HP 240,000 21.8% 400,000 25.0% -40.0% 3. Dell 105,000 9.5% 160,000 10.0% -34.4% 3. Mio 105,000 9.5% 100,000 6.3% 5.0% 5. Sharp 40,000 3.6% 13,000 0.8% 207.7% Others 160,000 14.5% 437,000 27.3% -63.4% Total 1,100,000 100.0% 1,600,000 100.0% -31.3%Source: IDC Worldwide Handheld QView, November 8, 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.

Yahoo, Linksys Unveil VOIP Cordless Phone

“A handset from Cisco Systems’ Linksys consumer division lets users make and receive calls both on Yahoo Messenger with Voice and over a regular phone line. The phone, called the CIT310, also has a small color display so users can scroll through their Yahoo Messenger contacts or search for a local business. The dual-mode feature arrives thanks to DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications), a European standard for cordless phones that supports both data and conventional voice traffic, said Linksys spokeswoman Karen Sohl. U.S. cordless phone technology typically has not supported data, she said. DECT was approved for use in the U.S. within the past few years and in Canada earlier this year, Sohl said. The product is being offered only in the U.S. and Canada.With the arrival of VOIP, instant-messaging providers such as Yahoo are trying to get into the phone business alongside cable operators and other new players. Breaking away from the need to use a PC is a big step toward making VOIP communication like a regular phone call. EBay’s Skype Internet-calling division has announced a DECT phone with Koninklijke Philips Electronics and a Wi-Fi phone with Netgear, among others. Leaving out Wi-Fi helped Linksys keep the price of the device down, according to Sohl. The estimated street price of the CIT310 is $99.99. DECT operates in a separate unlicensed band from Wi-Fi, around 1.8GHz and 1.9GHz. Built-in encryption and authentication secures DECT phone calls, she said. Wi-Fi can’t carry conventional phone calls.The Linksys phone comes with a base station that can connect to both a conventional phone line and a PC’s USB port. Yahoo Messenger is built in to the device. Using Yahoo Messenger with Voice, users can make and receive PC-to-PC calls free and exchange calls over the regular phone network at low rates, according to the companies. They can also use the CIT310 as a conventional cordless phone.In addition, users can enter their local ZIP code and a search term, such as “restaurant,” using the keypad. The phone’s screen will display results from the Yahoo Local Search service, and the user can then scroll through that list and click to call an entry.” via

Motorola Q 'Norman' Windows Mobile Smartphone appeared on the Web

“Is this the rumored and long awaited Motorola Q Pro, the UMTS/3G version of today’s Motorola Q? Hungarian website has published infos and photos of a so far unseen Motorola Q code named “Moto Q Norman”. The Norman has a brand new black design (but still featuring the QWERTY thumb keyboard, for sure) and the keys seems to be bigger and flatter now. More shortcut keys can be found at the bottom of the keyboard, including shortcuts to media player, camera, calendar, contact list and volume control.The back of the Smartphone revealed the Vodafone logo! Other than the keyboard changes, the Norman is expected to sport a 2 megapixel camera, mini USB connector and should get Microsoft’s latest Windows Mobile for Smartphone Edition (whatever it means):”More photos here:

HTC Herald to be released as HTC P4350, rumors

“In the Internet you can come across the info that HTC is about to release a communicator based on HTC Herald platform under the name HTC P4350. I’d remind you that under the preliminary info HTC Herald is an improved version of HTC Wizard.The communicator will be slimmer against its predecessor, it will have a 2-megapixel camera, an expansion slot for microSD cards. It is supposed to be powered by Windows Mobile 5.0 AKU 3.2. Other features are similar to HTC Wizard: the form-factor, the QWERTY-keyboard, TI OMAP 200 MHz processor, 64 MB RAM and 128 MB flash ROM, GSM networking, GPRS and EDGE, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.”