625 — Smartphones revive the European smart handheld device market, IDC says

May 2, 2003 | Conteúdos Em Ingles

According to IDC, the market for smart handheld devices in Western Europe grew by 121 per cent in the first quarter 2003, driven by strong sales of Smartphones from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and Orange. Sales of standalone handheld devices remained slower, but were buoyed slightly by Dell’s introduction of it’s low-cost Axim product to the market in February, instigating a price war at the entry price point in the mobile device market.

Palm continued to lead the standalone handheld market, but HP came back more strongly with the launch of its small form factor iPaq H1910 device, which helped it maintain ground.

The entry-level Pocket PC market promises to be the new battleground, and is becoming increasingly fierce, with Dell and Viewsonic being new entrants in a market occupied by an increasing number of ‘unbranded’ vendors such as Medion, Yakumo (Vobis), Mitac, and Asus.

The share of the market for converged devices (smartphones and PDA phones) increased to 59 per cent of all mobile device shipments, driven by Symbian-based smartphones.

The commercial availability of the new Nokia 3650 and Sony Ericsson P800 helped boost the share of Symbian based devices to 85 per cent of all converged devices.

With more Symbian devices expected for release later in the year, the outlook for Symbian-based smartphones appears very positive. In 2003, IDC expects Symbian Series 60 devices alone to ship more units than all other platforms combined.

“Despite an expected refresh of the Orange SPV product and the potential introduction of another mobile operator-branded device, IDC believes that the release of a Microsoft smartphone-based product by a major branded vendor would assist the Smartphone platform in gaining greater visibility and momentum,” commented Andrew Brown, research manager for European Mobile Computing at IDC.

Vendor Highlights:


Nokia led the overall market for smart handheld devices in first quarter 2003, with a continuation of strong Symbian-based smartphone sales. In addition to sales of the Nokia 7650 , Nokia began shipping its 3650 smartphone. Sales of the data-centric Communicator also remained at a healthy, although far lower level in first quarter 2003.


Palm continued to lead the market for standalone handheld devices. The entry level Palm Zire continued to be strong in France, while the more highly priced Tungsten T performed well in the UK and Germany. With the newly released Tungsten C and Zire 71, Palm remains well positioned, although poor economic conditions and an increasingly crowded market will limit overall growth.


The iPaq H1910 ensured that HP did not lose market share to the low cost Pocket PC offerings from Dell, Toshiba, Viewsonic, Yakumo, Medion etc. HP officially stopped shipping the Jornada branded devices in first quarter 2003, with all products in this category being end of life.

This includes the Jornada 500 Series Pocket PCs, Jornada 700 Series Handheld PCs, and the Jornada 928 Pocket PC Phone Edition. HP does not intend to release an update under the iPaq brand to the key-based 700 Series.

Sony Ericsson

Sony Ericsson moved strongly into the top 5 vendors for smart handheld devices as it’s newly introduced Symbian-based P800 smartphone began shipping in volume during first quarter 2003. Sony Ericsson is the second vendor to ship large volumes of a Symbian smartphone, further reinforcing the importance of the Symbian platform.


Orange continues to be the only vendor offering a Microsoft Smartphone 2002 based product. Following healthy initial sales in forth quarter 2002, Orange maintained momentum in first quarter 2003 with sales of over 60,000 SPV units in Europe in first quarter 2003.

Filipe Samora

Em Foco – Empresa