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European mobile device market fueled by Series 60-based smartphones
Posted: 26-Oct-2004 [Source: IDC]

[Research group, IDC, reports the mobile device market (smartphones and PDAs) in Western Europe grew 38% during Q3 compared to Q3 last year.]

London -- According to the latest market data released by IDC, the mobile device market (smartphones and PDAs) in Western Europe grew by 38% during the third quarter of 2004, with over 1.8 million units shipped during 3Q04 compared to 1.3 million units in 3Q03. The market was mainly driven by shipments of Series 60-based smartphones, although, as forecast by IDC last quarter, RIM Blackberry sales continued to grow strongly, exceeding 120,000 units in Western Europe and adding significant impetus to the data-centric device category.

Despite vendors withdrawing from the market and a slow quarter from palmOne, the standalone PDA market continued to grow, albeit at a modest 4%. Market highlights include the growing importance of low-cost Pocket PC vendors including Yakumo, Medion, Anubis, and Mitac, and the high attach rates of in-car navigation GPS bundles.

"GPS bundling continues to be a key product differentiator for many vendors in Europe, with average attach rates of over 50%; the Netherlands and Denmark lead GPS bundling with over 80% of devices being sold with a GPS unit. Both HP and palmOne are now offering consumers maximum flexibility with a range of price points incorporating low, medium, and high cost packages," said Geoff Blaber, research analyst for European Mobile Devices at IDC. Sales of smartphones and phone-enabled PDAs continued to increase strongly, with Nokia increasing shipments by 44% and Sony Ericsson growing 21%, assuring that Symbian remains the leading operating system. Successful new product introductions such as the C500 from Orange helped to boost the share of Microsoft smartphones. However, Canadian vendor RIM continued to grow impressively at over 300% year on year, following on from phenomenal growth in the previous quarter, and managed to secure around 20,000 units of its new Vodafone 7100v Blackberry, despite its introduction at the end of the quarter.

Sales of smartphones and phone-enabled PDAs continued to increase strongly, with Nokia increasing shipments by 44% and Sony Ericsson growing 21%, assuring that Symbian remains the leading operating system. Successful new product introductions such as the C500 from Orange helped to boost the share of Microsoft smartphones. However, Canadian vendor RIM continued to grow impressively at over 300% year on year, following on from phenomenal growth in the previous quarter, and managed to secure around 20,000 units of its new Vodafone 7100v Blackberry, despite its introduction at the end of the quarter.

"RIM continues to provide the most credible, reliable, and secure end-to-end push email solution via new installations of Blackberry Enterprise Server and close relationships with mobile network operators in Europe, which has seen the vendor maintain a high 'trial-to-adoption' ratio among businesses. At the same time the vendor continues to innovate on the device through differentiated new form factors, allowing the vendor to expand its presence into new accounts," said Andrew Brown, program manager for European Mobile Devices at IDC.

Vendor Highlights

* Nokia - The Finnish vendor remained the European mobile device market leader, with shipments of Symbian-based Series 60 smartphones such as the 7610 helping to drive a growth rate of 44% during the quarter. IDC expects Nokia to perform well during the final quarter of the year as it expands its Symbian offerings with the first 3G Series 60 device, the 6630 smartphone, and forthcoming communicator products, the 9300 and 9500.

* HP - Having recently introduced a complete range of new devices HP continues to have the strongest product portfolio in the traditional PDA space. On the enterprise side it remains the only vendor that can offer a complete mobile computing solution, while for consumers IDC expects HP to focus on in-car navigation and multimedia.

* Sony Ericsson - The vendor managed to sustain year-on-year momentum, adding the P910 to its smartphone product portfolio with keypad and push email integration. P900 sales continued to comprise over 90% of Sony Ericsson's smartphone sales, with smartphones still comprising below 5% of Sony Ericsson's overall mobile phone mix.

* palmOne - palmOne had a slow quarter as it focused on clearing the channel to make way for new products in the run up to the holiday period. The PDA pioneer saw shipments drop by 16% year on year to 138,900 units. Despite an improved product portfolio, which includes the high-end T5 and Zire GPS bundles, IDC believes that palmOne will continue to struggle during the final quarter of 2004 with strong competition from white-box Pocket PC vendors. In Europe palmOne's converged device the Treo 600 remains a niche product unlikely to appeal to the majority of consumers and failing to become recognized as a true enterprise-class device. While the Treo 600 does have some operator support, IDC does not believe that it is currently being promoted to its full potential.

* RIM - Canadian vendor RIM continued to grow impressively at over 300% year on year, following on from phenomenal growth in the previous quarter, and managed to secure around 20,000 units of its new Vodafone 7100v Blackberry, despite its introduction at the end of the quarter. Sales of Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) continued to grow dramatically during the quarter.

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