Palm Slips but Still Dominates Handheld Market

Last year, Palm Inc. made 38.6% of all handhelds shipped. While still well ahead of all its competitors, the company's share of the world handheld market is down; in 2000 Palm had 50.4%. The total number of handhelds Palm shipped is down as well, going from 5.6 million in 2000 to 5.1 million last year. Nevertheless, the company still shipped more than three times as many handhelds as its next nearest rival, Handspring. The maker of the Visor line saw its share rise a bit from 12.4% to 12.6% as its number of units shipped went from 1.4 million to 1.6 million.

Third was Compaq with a 9.8% share and 1.3 million handhelds shipped. Fourth was Hewlett-Packard with 5.4% and 711 thousand units shipped. Fifth is a company that sells only in China.

In the OS race, the Palm OS was on 57% of handhelds shipped worldwide in 2001. In second place was the "Other"category with 22%. Last year, sales of handhelds in China really took off and many of these run neither of the two major operating systems. In third place was the Pocket PC OS with 21%.

The number of handhelds shipped worldwide went up 18% compared to the previous year. The total number shipped was 13.1 million in 2001 versus 11.1 million in 2000.

The average price for a handheld dropped last year to $277 from $296 in 2000. This was due to a price war between Palm and Handspring and the rise of sales in China, where many handhelds cost less than $100.

These numbers aren't retail sales figures. This is the total number of handhelds shipped worldwide from these manufacturers. They come from a report released today by Gartner Dataquest.

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sony and psion

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/13/2002 9:19:13 AM #
just wondering --
does the "other" category for OS include psions? because i would imagine they still have a reasonable market share in the UK.

also, for PalmOS manufacturers, where is sony on that list? one would think that a noteable chunk of the Palm inc market share was consumed by the clie series last year.
(lord knows sony released enough models. sheesh.)

RE: sony and psion
TDS @ 2/13/2002 9:23:11 AM #
I know that Psion announced that they were cancelling there line of handhelds, but I would wager that a few 100,000 were still sold in 2001.

RE: sony and psion
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/13/2002 9:32:40 AM #
We know that the total percentage for Palm OS was 57%. Add Palm's to Handspring's and you get 51.2%. That means the other Palm OS licensees got 5.8%. We know that didn't all go to one company because that would have made it third on the list. I guess Sony, HandEra, and Acer split this.

Sony's share won't rise until they get serious about selling somewhere besides Japan and the U.S. But those are the two most profitable markets. Maybe Sony doesn't care about its worldwide market share, it just wants to make money.

RE: sony and psion
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/13/2002 11:39:27 PM #
Sony's market share will not be accurate since their flagship 710C didn't get released till the middle of the year.

I am sure Sony will be #3 behind Handspring in 2002 or soon replace it as #2.

Did Anderson Accounting Firm publish this?

TDS @ 2/13/2002 9:14:26 AM #
Is it just me, or does it seem like the percentages of domination change all the time? One week it is based on retail sales, the next on shipments, another on profit. My brain hurts from trying to absorb all of this different information. Well, one consistant number is that Palm is still the #1 reseller, but Pocket PC is slowly gaining ground...
The 2002 numbers will be interesting. Will Handspring slip to third place due to the announcement that they will leave the traditional handheld market? Will Bill Gates distorted vision of a "tablet pc" be included in the number? ( ...and the tablet pc comes in 147th, selling 3 tablets in 2002 to Bill Gates nephew and two cousins...) Will Susan tell Jack that she is carrying his baby and not Brians?
Stay tuned for the next episode of "As the PDA Turns"

RE: Did Anderson Accounting Firm publish this?
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/13/2002 9:27:27 AM #
Will PPC drop through the bottom as 400 MHz Palm OS handhelds get released this fall?

I agree these statistics can be confusing. IMNSHO, this here is the best. You can ignore the studies that are retail sales figures in the United States, that's too narrow a view. This here is every handheld shipped to anywhere in the world for retail, direct sales, Internet sales, whatever.

RE: Did Anderson Accounting Firm publish this?
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/13/2002 4:48:01 PM #
I care about retail sales in the US! The bottom line for me is software availability. If say PPC had most of the world market and Palm had most of the US market I'd still pick Palm because I'm not interested in software written in Chinese or Danish. PPC just doesn't have the dominance Microsoft has with Windows



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