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Euro-market for clever handhelds to soar this year

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Survey Tthe Western European market for smart handhelds was worth over $1 billion last year. And this year, even more growth is expected, IDC says. The market was fuelled in 1998 by the Palm III and future growth will come this year because of the Palm V and small CE devices, IDC thinks. Growth in Europe is mostly because of professional business users wanting Internet access including email, light weight, low cost and access to other information, said research manager Alison McKenzie. The market for WinCE in 1998 was less than expected because of the slow rollout of devices, but is beginning to take off because companies like HP, Compaq and Sharp made inroads, she said. Smart phones, however, did not perform well in 1998. Vendors are cautious and slow to enter the market, but WAP enabled and EPOC based handsets from Ericsson and Nokia will gain market share as they appear at the end of this year and through next. ®

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