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PDA, smartphone sales rocket in Europe

Nokia in the ascendant

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Europeans spent rather more on handheld mobile devices during the first three months of 2004 than they did in the same period a year ago. But while traditional PDAs - even those with wireless functionality - saw double-figure big year-on-year growth, it failed to match the increased interest buyers saw in smartphones, the latest market data from Canalys reveals.

Overall, the mobile device market grew 62 per cent between Q1 2004 and Q1 2003. Nokia remained the market leader, with almost two million devices shipped between January and March this year, enough to grant it almost half the market, itself an increase on its Q1 2003 standing - although its share slipped slightly sequentially, Canalys said.

The Finnish company dominated smartphone sales, taking 73.8 per cent of the market. Its shipments grew 89 per cent between the two year-apart quarters in consideration, putting it ahead of the overall market's growth rate and the smartphone arena growth rate: 62 per cent and 83 per cent, respectively.

Far behind Nokia in the device market came HP and PalmOne, still neck-and-neck, as they are in the PDA market, though there the gap was greater, thanks to the voice-centric units contributed by Handspring to the overall figure.

HP saw PDA shipments rise 56 per cent year on year - PalmOne experienced more modest growth: just a single percentage point. Behind them came RIM and Dell, the former seeing a big, 1058 per cent jump in the number of units shipped in Europe, the latter a still-impressive 22 per cent increase in shipments. RIM's shipments put it in the top three PDA vendor list for the first time.

Overall, the PDA - what Canalys terms 'data-centric devices' - market grew 33 per cent year on year. However, the smartphone - 'voice-centric devices' to Canalys - business saw a big jump of 83 per cent. Percentages can be misleading: a higher growth rate doesn't necessarily mean larger overall shipments. In this case it does, however, with more smartphones shipping in Q1 2003 than PDAs shipped in the year-later quarter.

Smartphones outsold PDAs in Q1 this year almost 2:1. Number two player Sony Ericsson saw its shipments dip slightly, as Siemens' newly released SX1 took just over five per cent of the market, pushing it ahead of both Motorola, Orange and PalmOne/Handspring. "PalmOne's Treo 600 hasn't done as well in EMEA as elsewhere; it needs more models and broader operator coverage to become a contender in the smart phone space," Canalys analyst Rachel Lashford said.

Compare that with RIM's experience: "RIM has made great progress in EMEA over the past year and a half," said Chris Jones, Canalys director and senior analyst. "Crucially, it has also expanded its relationships with operators and invested in helping them sell solutions to business customers. Other vendors planning to sell wireless handhelds through the operators should learn from its example."

Thanks to that interest in smartphones, Symbian dominated the handheld device operating system market, taking 59.7 per cent of the market during Q1, compared to Microsoft's 24.8 per cent share and PalmSource's 11.8 per cent share. In the smartphone segment alone, Symbian commanded a 91.2 per cent share, followed by Microsoft on 7.8 per cent and PalmSource on just a single percentage point.

In the PDA business, PalmSource, once the market leader, now holds just 32.3 per cent, based on Q1 2004 device shipments, well behind Microsoft's 57.1 per cent share but ahead of the rest - which pretty much means RIM - on 10.5 per cent. ®

EMEA Mobile Device Market
Vendor Q1 2004 Q1 2003 Growth
Shipments Share Shipments Share
1 Nokia 1,194,760 48.4% 631,110 41.3% 89%
2 HP 251,530 10.2% 160,770 10.5% 56%
3 PalmOne 250,310 10.1% 246,310 16.1% 2%
4 Sony Ericsson 175,450 7.1% 176,160 11.5% 0%
5 Siemens 82,970 3.4% 1,280 0.1% 6382%
  Others 515,420 20.9% 311,170 20.4% 66%
  Total 2,470,440 100% 1,526,800 100% 62%

 

EMEA Mobile Data-centric Device Market
Vendor Q1 2004 Q1 2003 Growth
Shipments Share Shipments Share
1 HP 251,530 29.5% 160,770 25.1% 56%
2 PalmOne 233,560 27.4% 232,210 36.2% 1%
3 RIM 68,460 8% 5,910 0.9% 1058%
4 Dell 43,120 5.1% 35,260 5.5% 22%
  Others 255,900 30% 206,670 32.3% 24%
  Total 852,570 100% 640,820 100% 33%

 

EMEA Mobile Voice-centric Device Market
Vendor Q1 2004 Q1 2003 Growth
Shipments Share Shipments Share
1 Nokia 1,194,760 73.8% 631,110 71.2% 89%
2 Sony Ericsson 175,450 10.8% 176,160 19.9% 0%
3 Siemens 82,970 5.1% 0 0% N/A
  Others 164,690 10.2% 78,710 8.9% 109%
  Total 1,617,870 100% 885,980 100% 83%

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