Handheld Sales Drop in Europe

Sales of all types of handhelds have dropped during the second quarter of this year in Europe, according to the research company Gartner Dataquest. This mirrors a similar drop in handheld sales in the United States. Still, sales did increase 7% over the same quarter last year.

The news was especially bad for Palm. Basically, what seems to have happened is that sales of Palm branded units dropped by about half while customers where waiting for the m500 series, which Palm pre-announced. They still hold the lead but with only a narrow margin.

Palm saw its share of the European market drop from 59.5% to 32.3%. The company that saw the biggest benefit from this was Compaq, who had a 30.2% share that quarter, up from just 4.5% in the previous one. This is the quarter that Compaq finally started to get its supply problems cleared up and ship iPaqs in quantity, bringing about a surge in sales as the company was able to meet some of the pent up demand.

Psion, which recently announced that it is leaving the consumer handheld market, had its share drop to just 9.8%. Handspring's share doubled to 8.2%, possibly on sales of its Visor Edge, which was released that quarter. Sony has almost ignored the European market, only recently beginning to offer the S300 there.

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Crazy Europeans

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/27/2001 11:46:25 AM #
That's why I like the U.S of A.

RE: Crazy Europeans
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/27/2001 1:33:19 PM #
They are not crasy but the gerneral economy is much worse than in the comparable fourishing US market.

RE: Crazy Europeans
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/27/2001 7:21:59 PM #
It's also that it costs more in europe.
Palm m505 costs $600, $150 than in the US. They have to revise there
pricing policy i think

RE: Crazy Europeans
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/28/2001 12:02:53 AM #
you should not judge about the european economy before you learned how to spell crazy !!!

Sophisticated early adopters
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/28/2001 11:41:24 PM #
As a biased commenter I would like to point out that the average European PDA user is currently probably more sophisticated, because the market is comparably less developed and right now consistst of more early adopters.

Palm and its liscencees (in particular SONY) would be well adviced to supply their high end models to Europe as otherwise PocketPC will get established and Palm might loose its dominance in this potentially US size market.

The euro market as usual will follow the US with some delay and ignoring it will prove a major mistake: Sizewise Europe is about as big as the US and profit margins tend to be substantially higher (as mentioned above).

I tend to ignore the above comments stating some unreflected thoughts (you guys haven't been to Europe in a while?)


RE: Crazy Europeans
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/30/2001 3:48:32 AM #
the problem in europe is that release dates are to late.. Sony is going to offerthe 710c from october 2001.. (they say at sony hq in the netherlands).. + the prices are to high.. by the time the pda hits the market in europe in the usa is released a new one..

I don't know why this because other hardware (cpu's + mobo's, etc..) are released much faster..

on the other hand.. living in europe is ok!

RE: Crazy Europeans
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/30/2001 7:51:39 AM #
A couple of points...

Prices are higher here in part due to import tarrifs and the 15% to 25% sales tax we have to pay

Mobile phones are released here sooner, but that's becaue Three major producers are based here, Nokia Ericsson and Siemans.. Europeans are far mor mobile savvy than the average Yank. Mostly thanks to the inherent benefits of GSM over other systams.. particularly SMS, but also because population density is higher here allowing easier coverage of large portions of the populaion.

On top of that the development of Pay as you go call plans and heavy subsidies of handsets means Europe is way ahead of America in terms of wireless telephony.

Add to this the strong dollar and its easy to see where the price differences come from.

RE: Sophisticated Early Adopters
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/31/2001 6:03:22 AM #
How can europeans be early adopters when they don't get to see the hardware until several months after the US release date? Europeans only get that label as they learn all the tips and tricks from the net from the US that have had the devices for some time.

Incredibly annoying living in the Eurpean PDA market. They turn up months late at vastly inflated prices - especially in the UK.

RE: Crazy Europeans
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/31/2001 6:33:09 AM #
I guess early adopters means that over here in Europe, a handheld is not as common as a mobile phone. In the Netherlands there is a mobile phone for almost every adult in the country. Not so with pda's. Until recently most pda users were the 'early adopter' type of people, usually techies or flashy manager types.
Over the last few months I noticed pda's popping up everywhere. Palms, iPAQs and a few casio's, nothing else.
I'd love to get one of those, but with the prices these machines cost over here that's a no no for me.


I.M. Anonymous @ 7/30/2001 6:17:38 AM #
here in europe a m505 costs ~15% more than an ipaq!
i'm a palm evangelist :-) since years but palm made it difficult to argue!

Another set of crappy "statistics" from Gartner

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/30/2001 8:05:17 AM #

Is this just another misleading, misinformed set of stats from Gartner?

Some of the nonesense that this company comes up with is beyond belief.. At time I am convinced they are a secret subsidiary of Microsoft the way they slant their material.

Anyway look out for a resurgence of Palm in Q3 as M50x sales kick in..... and in Q4, the impact of the Clie launch should bite...



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