Dataquest: European PDA market stalls in Q2

The overall market for PDAs (personal digital assistants) in western Europe stalled out during the second quarter of this year, according to a study by market researcher Dataquest, a unit of Gartner Group.

The handheld market increased by only 7.1 percent from the year-ago quarter, compared to the 123 percent growth the market saw during 2000, Dataquest said in a study released Thursday. The study wasn't all doom and gloom however, as Casio Computer Co. Ltd. and Compaq Computer Corp. saw their shipments increase by more than 350 percent and 600 percent, respectively.

Market leader Palm Inc. maintained the top spot with 32.3 percent of the market, despite a 41.9 percent decline in shipments, while Compaq came within passing distance, as its market share increased from 4.5 percent to 30.2 percent. U.K.-based handheld vendor Psion PLC fell into third place, with its market share dropping to 9.8 percent, down from 18.2 percent a year earlier, Dataquest said. Earlier this month, Psion announced that it plans to move away from its handheld business to focus on digital networking.

While Palm held 59.5 percent of the market in the year-earlier quarter, Palm and Compaq combined held only a 62.5 percent share during the second quarter of this year, Dataquest said. Palm suffered from continuing difficulties with high inventory levels and product transitions during the quarter, Dataquest said.

Completing the race was Handspring Inc., with an 8.2 percent share of the market, Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) , with 6.5 percent of the market, Casio Computer Ltd. with 3.9 percent, and IBM Corp., with 1.6 percent of the market. A total of 507,419 units shipped in the quarter, Dataquest said.

Palm's operating system also took a hit year-on-year, with its market share losing huge ground to Microsoft's Windows CE operating system. While Palm's OS market share decreased from 65.4 percent to 42.3 percent, Microsoft's grew from 13.4 percent to 40.9 percent, Dataquest said.

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