Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/07/09/toshiba_pda_biz/
Toshiba bows out of PocketPC arena?
Reports stack up
Toshiba is gearing up to quit the PDA market, if reports citing a number of the company's European sales representatives are anything to go by.
According to a report at Msmobiles.com, Toshiba representatives in Belgium told site correspondents who tried to by PocketPCs that the company will exit the PDA market by Q4. The site also claims to have heard of similar statements being made in the US.
Separately, over at WindowsMobile.ch, a reader keen to buy an e800 was told by the company's Swiss operation that production of the deviced has ceased and that Toshiba's PDA division has "closed".
And in May this year, "industry insiders" hinted to Brighthand that Toshiba was quietly withdrawing from the US PDA market - or was planning to do so.
Toshiba took just over two per cent of the world PDA market in Q1 2004, according to market watcher IDC, putting it in fifth place behind Dell, Sony, HP and PalmOne. Sony's worldwide share was put at 9.3 per cent, but that still wasn't enough to prevent the Japanese giant from exiting the market in the US and Europe to focus on Japanese sales.
Sony cited flat sales in those two territories as the reason for its decision. European PDA sales grew 33 per cent year in year in Q1, making it the only region to see an increase - shipments were way down elsewhere, yielding an overall decline of 11.7 per cent.
If Sony thinks such a business environment is untenable, it's hard to imagine Toshiba, with its much smaller market share, not coming to the same conclusion.
We asked Toshiba to comment, but the company's UK representatives did not respond to our calls. ®