The global market for smart mobile devices continued its meteoric rise in Q2 according to estimates released by Canalys. RIM along with other smart phones manufactuers are enjoying a large demand for their devices while the handheld/PDA market continues to shrink. Compared to last year RIM has seen an 84% increase in shipment, helped by strong demand and its expansion to new carriers. Palm handhelds dropped 32% but was offset by high Treo sales resulting in a 1% lost for Palm over last year. Motorola was the biggest winner with a 637% increase.
The positions of the top three vendors, Nokia, Palm and RIM, remained unchanged from Q1, though strong performance by Motorola, particularly in China and Japan, helped it re-enter the top five narrowly ahead of Fujitsu. Fujitsu itself enjoyed a strong Q2 thanks to the mid-quarter launch of its new FOMA F901iS smart phone.
Nokia once again saw its smart phone shipments increase at more than twice the average market rate. Demand was evident not only for its newer models, such as the 3G Nokia 6680, but also for the likes of the Nokia 7610, which benefited from targeted marketing programmes. In addition to the success of the Series 60 platform devices, growth for the more enterprise-orientated 9500 Communicator and 9300 smart phone led to a sequential rise for the Series 80 platform. This was helped by the availability of new language variations and enterprise applications.
Palm’s Treo 650 saw continuing success, with shipments of the smart phone reaching record levels in both North America and EMEA. Palm still leads the handheld segment, with 31% market share, but its handheld shipments declined 32% year on year, resulting in a 1% unit decline overall. In marked contrast to the boom in converged smart mobile devices (smart phones and wireless handhelds), the market for handhelds fell 14% year on year, with second-placed HP also experiencing a fall of 21% and feeling pressure in the retail sector in North America. Handheld shipments fell in most regions, with North America down by 36%, while Latin America and Asia Pacific fell 12% and 21% respectively.
In EMEA, however, handhelds are still showing growth, at 18% in Q2, as demand for devices with integrated GPS navigation hardware continues to rise.
“Many of the leading handheld vendors in the region, such as Acer, Mio Technology, Yakumo and Typhoon, have successfully integrated GPS and are promoting these devices primarily as navigation solutions,” commented Canalys analyst Rachel Lashford. “But bundles of GPS hardware and software on other handhelds are still significant, and HP has seen particular success in this area in EMEA, where it is still the leading handheld vendor. The trend though is firmly towards integrated devices and it is likely that more vendors will enter this segment in the coming months,” she added.
In the converged device space, HP’s new iPAQ hw6500 is the first wireless handheld to feature integrated GPS, and started shipping in EMEA during the quarter. RIM remains the leading wireless handheld vendor globally by some margin, with overall shipments up by 84%. Canalys estimates that around 85% of its shipments in the quarter were the keyboard-based wireless handhelds, with the 7100 series smart phones representing the remaining 15%.