The worldwide market for handheld devices declined in the first quarter of 2004 due to seasonally sluggish demand and vendor re-focusing. According to IDCís Worldwide Handheld QView, device shipments decreased 11.7% year-on-year in 1Q04 and dropped sequentially 33.1% to 2.2 million units.
While vendor commitment to entry-level devices at lower price points has helped to grow the handheld user base, many would-be handheld purchasers obtained their devices during the holiday shopping season in the fourth quarter of last year. As a result, despite growth in the European market, the seasonal slump hit vendors particularly hard during the first quarter of this year. The market was also strongly impacted by a number of vendors focusing on trimming down their product offerings and clearing their channels in preparation for spring product launches.