According to a recent report from NPD Intelect, Palm's own brand of devices accounted for 69.4 percent of the handhelds sold at U.S. stores in May, up from 62.1 percent in April. However, Handspring saw its market share slip to 15.3 percent in May, while Hewlett-Packard overtook Casio to own 6.1% of the market. Finally, market share for Compaq Computers accounted for only 2.9% in May.
It is important to note NPD figures only track retail sales, and therefore don't reflect the entire handheld market. For instance, Compaq's iPaq are also sold to corporate customers or through direct sales. Market share statistics may be skewed.
Last year, the Handspring (Nasdaq: HAND - news) VisorPhone was one of the first products combining a hand-held computer, cellular phone, and Internet capabilities. Handspring's Visor hand-held computer strong value for consumers lied in the expansion port specially designed for hardware add-ons such as the VisorPhone, enabling users to place/receive calls, e-mail, and Web data.
Palm (Nasdaq: PALM - news) and Motorola (NYSE: MOT - news) are developing a phone for early 2002 featuring a color-display screen that is larger than most cell-phone displays. Additionally, the phone will contain Palm's address book and calendar features, Web access, and the ability to connect wirelessly or through a cradle to sync information with a computer.
According to Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) Intersearch, 7% of adults in the US own, or have someone in their household who owns a cell phone with internet access. Another 4% own personal digital assistants (PDAs) or handheld wireless devices. Although PDAs still account for a small percent of the U.S. Wireless Internet user, many feel a hybrid of the PDA and the cell phone will out as the device of choice among users.
No one knows what the wireless future holds, but many feel the Compaq iPaq has the ability to make a strong hold in the market place with its leading-edge color screen and processing speed. We will have to wait and see who will win out as the device of choice.
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