Mobile Phones to Replace Handheld PCs
By Niall McKay, Fri Sep 05 14:15:00 GMT 2003

Why buy a handheld PC when smart phones are smaller, cheaper and have more functionality?

The BBC reports today that Symbian software Czar David Levin predicts the beginning of the end of the handheld PC. Certainly, it's a bold, if not somewhat inaccurate, statement. Handheld PCs actually seem to becoming more popular. But I guess it depends how you define the space.

The falling cost of adding devices such as digital cameras to phones will change the consumer electronics market dramatically, he said. So why would anyone buy bulky handheld PC when smart phones like the Sony Ericsson P800 costs about 200? He asked.

Hang on 200 for P800! Send me one David. AT&T and Cingular are charging $600 for these devices.

Still, he may have a point. The IDC reported that global handheld shipments fell in Q2 2003 to 2.27 million units -- down over 10 percent on the same quarter a year ago. In Q1 shipments fell by 21 percent. But handheld and cellular phone sales, like games devices, tend to spike when a new unit is released and decline thereafter. So when the next generation of devices arrive unit shipments will probably go up again.