Worldwide Smart Handheld Device Shipments to Exceed 13% Growth in 2002, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MAY 8, 2002 – Worldwide smart handheld device (SHD) shipments will increase by more than 13% in 2002. According to new research from IDC, Sync or Swim: The Worldwide Smart Handheld Devices Market Forecast and Analysis, 2002-2006 (IDC #26865), shipments will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% from 14.6 million in 2001 to 31.6 million by 2006.


After a year of battling tough economic conditions and increased security concerns, the SHD market is well positioned to regain its momentum in 2002, according to IDC. Propelled by brightening economic conditions, the wireless evolution, new device technologies, increased enterprise device adoption, and the centrality of partnerships, pen-based handhelds — the majority based on Palmsource, Inc.'s Palm OS and Microsoft's Pocket PC OS — continue to drive shipment volume in the traditional data-centric device world.

Another reason for optimism in this expanding market is the emergence of convergence. "Converged devices are the next great step in the evolution of the handheld device market," says Kevin Burden, program manager for IDC's Smart Handheld Devices research service. "Combining the telephony capabilities of a mobile phone with the data capabilities of a handheld device, the converged handheld market opportunity is positioned directly at the intersection of these two industries and represents one of the hottest trends in mobility for 2002 and beyond."

Key Findings

Worldwide pen-based handheld shipments will reach 14.5 million in 2002.

Nearly 63 million converged handheld devices will ship worldwide in 2006, up from 3.5 million in 2002.

Through the first three months of 2002, the smart handheld device industry is on much stronger footing than it was one year prior.

At the platform level, both Microsoft and the PalmSource subsidiary have reaffirmed their commitment to wireless devices.

The data-centric nature of clamshell keypad-based handheld devices positions them well for use in a wireless world.

IDC's new report, Sync or Swim: The Worldwide Smart Handheld Devices Market Forecast and Analysis, 2002-2006 (IDC #26865) reviews the market's 2001 performance and forecasts shipments, value of shipments, and average system prices through 2006. The report also shows market share leaders by segment based on 2001 shipments.

To purchase this document, call IDC's Jim Nagle at 508-935-4549 or email

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. 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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