Handheld market still tanking, study says

Shipments fell to 1.7 million units in the second quarter--a drop of more than 20 percent compared with last year, IDC says.

Global shipments of handheld devices continue to decline, but this has not deterred device makers from adding new features.

Shipments of handhelds fell to 1.7 million units in the second quarter, according to data released released Wednesday by IDC. The shift represents a sequential drop of 24.9 percent, and a year-over-year decrease of 20.8 percent.

The figures do not include smart phones or Research In Motion's BlackBerry devices.

Though the market is declining, some manufacturers are gaining market share by introducing new features, IDC said. Acer and Yakumo have leveraged demand for their Global Positioning System products. Palm, suffering market share loss, has added a new product, the LifeDrive mobile manager, to its portfolio.

Though its market share is down compared with last year, Palm remained on top, with 36.5 percent share of the market. Compared with the first quarter, its shipments were up 3.1 percent. Compared with last year, its shipments fell by 30.9 percent.

In second place is Hewlett-Packard, reporting a quarterly decline in shipments of 39.3 percent year over year and 35.2 percent sequentially.

Acer, which joined the top-five list last quarter, saw its shipments grow 608.2 percent year over year and 61.1 percent sequentially.

Despite a 17.1 percent decline from the first quarter, Dell posted a year-over-year rise in shipments roughly equal to its sequential loss, at just over 17 percent. IDC attributed this to the device maker's ability to react to demand, adjust prices and create new product bundles.

German gear maker Yakumo replaced Medion for the fifth-place slot. Its shipments rose 346.2 percent year over year and 52.6 percent sequentially, riding on the success of its low-cost devices with integrated GPS receivers, IDC said.

"As an answer to slowing consumer demand and stiff competition from converged mobile devices, handheld-device manufacturers are striving to create new solutions that leverage the unique hardware and software capabilities of the handheld device to provide users with an experience beyond that of a dedicated device," Kevin Burden, research manager for mobile devices at IDC, said in a statement.

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