Asia heats up for handhelds

Handheld computer sales may be slowing in the States, but opportunities for growth elsewhere are in full bloom, according to a new report from market researcher IDC. Worldwide shipments will slow from an 88 percent increase in 2000 to a more modest, but still healthy, 43 percent in 2001, IDC analysts said Wednesday.

Handheld computer sales may be slowing in the States, but opportunities for growth elsewhere are in full bloom, according to a new report from market researcher IDC.

Worldwide shipments will slow from an 88 percent increase in 2000 to a more modest, but still healthy, 43 percent in 2001, IDC analysts said Wednesday. Growth is expected to be nearly as good through 2005, with the market growing an average of 39 percent per year.

About 13.6 million handhelds shipped last year. By 2005, IDC said, shipments are expected to reach 70.9 million annually.

The biggest opportunities are the Asia-Pacific markets, including China, Japan and Korea, and the U.S. corporate market.

"Large companies are still buying handhelds, but the future is the Asia-Pacific region," IDC analyst Alex Slawsby said. Full story. --Richard Shim, ZDNet News