Newsfox Desk
Phone: + 43 - 1 - 811 40 - 319
Wed, 26.03.2003
pte20030326025 Computer/Telecommunications, Products/Innovations
Pressbox Pressbox
Smartphones quickly overtaking PDAs
Sales in smartphones to double this year

London (pte025/26.03.2003/11:53) - Smartphones are rapidly becoming more popular than handhelds, according to a recent study by British market researchers Canalys .

The analysts say 3.3 million smartphones were sold in the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) this year, while only 2.8 million palm or pocket PCs were bought .

"We anticipate that smart phone shipments alone will be an order of magnitude greater in 2003 than in 2002," said Andy Buss, senior analyst at Catalys. "2002 was the tip of the iceberg for this category of device." Buss expects the market for handhelds to grow on a much lower scale this year.

Canalys bases its prognosis on several factors. One is that a smartphone is easier to sell than a mobile telecommunications-equipped PDA. "For a start, the channels don't know how to sell a wireless handheld: the mobile phone retailers struggle demonstrating the benefits to potential customers, while the IT/data-centric channels don't really want to get into the tariff debate that becomes essential with a SIM-dependent device," said Chris Jones, director of Canalys. "Similar problems apply to smart phones, but mobile phone retailers will generally find it easier to sell something perceived as a mobile phone with added features than a less familiar type of device," said Jones.

The market researchers recommend that producers of handhelds focus on PDAs with large displays and bluetooth applications, as these best use the advantages of handheld devices. They say many mobile equipped PDAs are too large, impractical, expensive and difficult to use as phones.

Canalys predicts that handhelds will maintain their niche in the near future while the mobile phone mass market will be flooded with phones offering additional features, colour displays, integrated cameras and MMS. "True" smartphones, such as the P800 by Sony Ericsson, will only arrive on the mass market once the costs of GPRS have been reduced.

Submitter: pressetext.europe
Contact: Newsfox Desk
Phone: + 43 - 1 - 811 40 - 319