European sales of hand-held PCs rose by seven per cent in the third quarter, with Hewlett-Packard (HP) taking pole position for the fifth consecutive quarter, according to figures from Context.
The research firm said the availability of new products from major manufacturers has helped to fuel sales, along with a changing market.
"The last quarter was characterised by transition and the whole market is moving into bundled voice and data hand-held PCs. This is helping to develop the next-generation technology," said Jeremy Davies, a senior partner at Context.
On shipment figures alone, Context said HP has developed a 41 per cent share of the EMEA market for hand-held PCs and has remained the market leader for the fifth quarter running.
"HP took the lead when it segmented the market about two years ago. It leveraged off its existing retail partnerships and marketed brilliantly price-positioned products," Davies said.
But PalmOne did not fare so well. Shipments of its hand-helds were lower than expected. However, Context told CRN that the reason for this could be that PalmOne is clearing its current stock levels in preparation for new product launches later this month.
Dell is currently in third place after Sony decided to pull out of the market. This leaves the direct vendor with a six per cent market share. Smaller hand-held PC vendors Yakumo and Acer also experienced good Q3 results, both winning a five per cent share of the market.
"For resellers, hardware will not create any profit opportunities because prices are so cut-throat, but there is money to be made in the optional services and applications wrapped around the PCs," Davies said.
Paul Barlow, managing director of reseller Equanet, said: "Sales of hand-held PCs have been good over the past few months, with HP selling the most.
"Hand-held sales seem to be strongest with early adopters of technology and the corporate sector because they recognise the functionality and business benefits of the technology."
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