Study: Handheld Sales Boom In Europe

A new study indicates that handheld sales are starting to boom in Europe but smart phone sales have been slow to take off.

According to the International Data Corp. (IDC), 1.4 million handhelds were sold in Western Europe in 1998 with a value of more than $1 billion. The company claims that devices based on the Palm OS held a commanding lead, although it predicts that color Windows CE devices will start to catch up.

By contrast, the study found disappointing sales of smart phones in Europe last year. The study says that’s due to the slow roll-out of Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)-compliant devices.

However, sales should pick up dramatically this year and in 2000 as WAP-compliant devices become available from major European vendors such as Nokia and Ericsson, the study concludes. Those devices are expected to use Symbian’s EPOC operating system.

The information comes from an IDC study entitled Western European Smart Handheld Devices Review and Forecast, 1998-2003.

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