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Handheld Device Market Drops, Again

The worldwide market for handheld devices experienced its sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year decline in the second quarter of 2005. According to IDC, device shipments decreased 20.8 percent compared to the same quarter one year ago and fell 24.9 percent sequentially in 2Q05 to 1.7 million units. Despite the continued decline of the worldwide handheld device market, device manufacturers clearly remain committed to driving innovation throughout their product portfolios. Acer and Yakumo, for example, have risen to Top 5 shipment levels on strong demand for their GPS solutions. More recently, Palm continues to stretch the definition of a handheld device with the introduction of its LifeDrive mobile manager product. Simultaneously, however, manufacturers are moving to balance these advancements with complementary converged mobile device products in order to provide a full range of options to modern mobile consumers and enterprises. "As an answer to slowing consumer demand and stiff competition from converged mobile devices, handheld device manufacturers are striving to creating new solutions that leverage the unique hardware and software capabilities of the handheld device to provide users with an experience beyond that of a dedicated device,� said Kevin Burden, research manager of IDC's Mobile Devices program. "Discovering and developing these new solutions are essential for driving the handheld device beyond PIM and returning the market to growth.�

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