iPAQ takes Q3 handheld honours

iPAQ takes Q3 handheld honours

Hewlett Packard's handheld devices took a giant leap in sales to become Australian market leader for Q3, but the spoils are small for the channel at large, according to IDC.

Sales of HP Pocket PCs, which come under the iPAQ product range, increased by 13.9 per cent on last quarter to record Q3 market share of 47.1 per cent.

The nearest competitor was Q2 market leader Palm. Sales of Palm devices dropped just over six per cent to record 36.2 per cent market share for Q3.

Toshiba was a distant third with 5.2 per cent.

While the iPAQ's marketing shift from corporate to consumer device helped drive its sales, there were no great boosts for iPAQ resellers, said IDC associate analyst Imraan Ali.

"HP still use a go-direct model [for the iPAQ], so that's retailers like Harvey Norman, Big W, Good Guys.

"They [HP] still have their strategies with companies like Ingram Micro, but the channel aren't seeing a lot of the sales," he said.

The iPAQ's rise then came from an expanded retail channel and low price points, said Ali.

"About six to eight months ago HP were very commercial focused. But the way corporates are looking at PDAs, the demand just isn't there. So they've [HP] targeted the consumer with low price-points."

However the current Christmas buying climate was not doing a lot to boost sales, he said.

"The general feeling at IDC is this Christmas so far has been slow for mass merchants, across all products.

"It's hard to say why but there's things like the interest rate hike [by the Reserve Bank] which might come early next year.

HP also led the Smart Handheld Devices (SHD) category for Q3 on 31.7 per cent, Palm again just over six per cent behind.

The SHD category, which Ali expects traditional PDA vendors to move to, includes converged devices like PDA-phones and traditional handhelds.

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