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Palm retakes ground grabbed by Handspring

Consumer push rebuilds PDA veteran's marketshare

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Palm appears to have successfully countered PalmOS-licensee Handspring's attack on its consumer flank, or so the latest US retail marketshare figures seem to suggest.

According to researcher NPD Intelect, Palm took 70 per cent of the US retail and mail order market in August, up from 61.5 per cent in July and 65.4 per cent in June.

August saw the launch of the $149 m100, designed to grab back some consumer marketshare from Handspring's $149 Visor, and sure enough Handspring was the main marketshare loser. It took just 15.5 per cent of the market in August, down from 26 per cent in July and 21.5 per cent the month before.

As the only two providers of PalmOS-based product contributing significant numbers to the US retail PDA market, Palm and Handspring are pretty much battling each other for marketshare. Over the three months from June to August, the Palm platform's domination of the market has been pretty static, hovering around the 86.6 per cent mark by no more than 1.1 per cent either way.

PocketPC and Windows CE 3.0 have come, but done next to nothing to dent PalmOS' share.

In that space, however, there have been some major changes, with Compaq leaping up from the Others category in June to take 6.6 per cent of the market in August. That pushed WinCE leader Casio off the top slot to under two per cent (4.4 per cent in June). Hewlett-Packard achieved a similar figure this time, down from 3.3 per cent in June. ®

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