The market for handheld devices shipped in Europe exploded in the last three months of 2003, according to two analyst firms. Shipments of handhelds went over one million in EMEA for the first time.
Both IDC and Canalys reported high shipments of devices in the run-up to Christmas, with Hewlett Packard gaining ground on its competitors.
IDC said HP's market share in western Europe was 36 per cent. Canalys, which measures smartphone and PDA shipments in EMEA, put the vendor's share at 33 per cent.
A relatively unknown vendor, Medion, a German company specialising in price-busting products sold through retail stores, has gained significant market share. Both analysts put it third in the market, behind HP and Palm. Canalys gave Medion a 11.2 per cent share in EMEA and IDC 10.1 per cent market share in western Europe.
"Palm sold bucketloads in the final quarter of 2002, and that affected its growth in 2003," said Chris Jones, a director at Canalys. "PalmSource shipped version 6 to its third parties last year, which might help, but Sony, for example, could do a lot better."
Andy Brown, mobile research manager at IDC, welcomed the growth over the quarter and the year. "Sales to enterprise users were also positive - HP is still selling large amounts through the channel, and Dell is shipping its Axim PDAs bundled with laptops," he said.
"That said, how many companies are buying centrally, and how many employees are expensing their PDAs?"
That division is becoming more obvious.
"The applications on low-end PDAs are things such as diary and contact programs - they're expensive address books," said Mark Robinson, business manager at Hugh Symons's mobile computing division.
"We sold 7,500 PDAs in November last year and 3,500 GPRS cards. People in business are looking for more then just a fancy address book."
Nima Green asks what is driving public cloud uptake in Germany
In the wake of yet another lawsuit involving Oracle, we run through 10 of the vendor's biggest court battles
CEO Chuck Robbins says Cisco will use the Catalyst 9000 product range as a template for future launches
Today saw 14 of the UK IT channel's biggest hitters come together to determine the winners of CRN's WiC awards. But what does being a WiC judge actually involve? Doug Woodburn reports