Report: Worldwide handheld market continues decline

For the 15th consecutive quarter the worldwide handheld device market posted a decline in shipments, according to a new report by market intelligence firm IDC, which chalks up the trend to vendors either scaling back production or exiting the market altogether. IDC reports that vendors shipped 728,894 handheld devices in the third quarter, approximately 1.5 percent more than in Q2 but still down 39.3 percent year-over-year. Even though Palm has not released a new model for over two years, the firm remained atop the IDC chart thanks to its steady stream of Treo converged devices--HP retained the number two spot, followed by Mio, Fujitsu-Siemens and Sharp.

"The handheld device market may be down, but is not necessarily out," said IDC Mobile Device Technology and Trends research analyst Ramon T. Llamas in a prepared statement. "The handheld still has a loyal, if shrinking, following in developed economies, especially among enterprise users. In emerging markets, the appeal of the handheld devices seems anchored in the fact that, in the absence of a monthly service plan, it has a lower total cost of ownership compared to mobile phones and/or the converged mobile device."

For more on the IDC handheld report:
- read this release