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WinCE retail market share collapses

Down from 33.5 per cent to 11.2 per cent, year on year

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Microsoft's PocketPC launch couldn't have come sooner, according to a report by NPD Intelect. The US market research company's numbers, cited by All Net Devices, show retail sales of Windows CE devices have all but dried up. NPD Intelect's stats, derived from sales through US retail and mail order channels, show Palm held 87.3 per cent of the PDA market in February, an increase of over 20 per cent on its February 1999 share of 65.5 per cent. IBM, a PalmOS licensee, also experienced growth, seeing its share rise 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent between February 1999 and February 2000. On the CE side, of the main vendors, only Compaq saw a year-on-year marketshare gain, rising 1.1 per cent, from 0.4 per cent of the PDA market to 1.5 per cent. However, the other big CE vendors, Casio and Hewlett-Packard, saw their shares fall 7.3 per cent and 3.0 per cent, respectively. In February 1999, Casio held 12.2 per cent of the market; for the same month this year, it had only 4.9 per cent. HP, meanwhile, fell from 5.7 per cent to 2.7 per cent. Taken together, the figures show Windows CE's share of the PDA market by February 2000 had fallen to practically a third of its February 1999 share, plummeting from 33.5 per cent to 11.2 per cent. It's worth noting here that NPD's stats don't include sales from Web sites or direct from vendors. Certainly Compaq and HP's overall share of the market will be higher as a result. But then so too would IBM's share and that of fellow PalmOS licensee Handspring, which has until recently, been selling exclusively via the Web. How all these 'missing' sales affects CE's overall share of the PDA is very difficult to judge. ® Related Story Smoking email suggests Gates ordered PDA techno-sabotage

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