IDC: Asia smart handheld device market to grow at 36 per cent CAGR through 2006

Press release; Adam Connors, [Monday 15 April 2002]

Market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that sales of smart handheld devices (SHDs) in the Asia/Pacific region, excluding Japan, will continue to rise at a CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of around 36.5% through 2006, with China continuing to lead the region in market share. China currently dominates the SHD market share with 68.5% of the market by shipments, and three vendors ­ Hi-Tech Wealth, Minren and Legend ­ comprise a full 42% of all SHDs sold across the region, IDC said.

Even in the face of a massive economic slowdown, the SHD market grew a respectable 36.7% in 2001, down from the 254.5% growth in 2001.

Device convergence is marked as the greatest propellant of SHD growth, as mobile phones and PDAs merge their functions and wireless data and voice technology make it into the mainstream, IDC predicts. The Symbian OS is expected to do well in the next few years as mobile phone vendors begin shipping their smartphones to wireless operators looking for additional revenue from wireless data services.

Localized operating systems dominated the market last year, thanks largely to China’s home brands, with 70% of the market. Palm OS-based products continued to dominate the ex-China market in 2001, with a 48% market share, while Microsoft products attained almost 30%.

Market share of SHDs by country, according to IDC, has China at 68.5%, Korea 8%, Taiwan 6%, Hong Kong and Singapore at 5% each, Australia 3% and the rest of the Asia/Pacific region at 5%.

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