Bad Press Not Enough to Hold Back Market Growth for Information Appliances, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JUNE 12, 2001 – Bad press socked the information appliances market in 2000, but the hit won’t keep it down. In fact, the market is expected to pack impressive punch in the years ahead. According to IDC, the worldwide value of information appliance shipments will soar to over $44 billion in 2005 from $7 billion in 2000. This represents a very solid 43% growth rate.


"An inconsistent naming convention led participants to wrongly expect too much out of a market that is really led by handhelds and TV-based devices," said Bryan Ma, senior analyst for IDC’s consumer devices research program. "Most of the discouraging news came from a very small and specific section of the market. The remaining categories of products, including gaming and handheld devices, have been performing incredibly well with very healthy volumes. So, despite tumultuous times, information appliances are here to stay."

According to IDC, the enthusiasm for information appliances fizzled when poor sales performances in the Web terminal segment forced high-profile vendors Netpliance and 3Com to flee the market. "The bulk of press activity was devoted to the early markets focused on self-contained Web-surfing devices instead of on the products that really drive the industry," Ma said.

IDC believes a roar was made out of a small whimper. Moving forward, more established products such as handhelds, iTV-enabled devices, and Internet-capable gaming devices will fuel-inject the information appliances market with high-octane growth. Together, these products will account for 85% of total value of shipments in 2005. Web tablets, Web terminals, and email terminals will make up only a very slim portion of the market.

IDC emphasizes that email and Web surfing only scratch the surface of what a connected worldwide network is capable of. "Internet appliances are about taking advantage of Internet connectivity in various new ways that are not achievable on the PC," Ma said.

IDC’s report Forecast and Analysis of the Worldwide Information Appliance Market, 2000-2005 (IDC #B24777) analyzes and sizes the U.S. and worldwide opportunity for information appliances. Unit shipment and value forecasts are provided through 2005 for the following device categories: Web terminals, Web tablets, email terminals, Internet handheld companions and smart phones, Internet handheld vertical application devices, enterprise thin clients, iTV-enabled devices, Internet gaming devices, home audio clients, and others. Key market dynamics for each device category are summarized. This report also looks at how information appliances stack up against PCs as devices used to access the Internet.

To purchase this report, contact Patrick Steeves at 1-800-343-4952, extension 6787, or at

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 700 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.


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