Shipments of pocket-sized computers declined 18 percent in 2003, despite moderate gains in the fourth quarter, according to research firm IDC.
For the full year, the total hand-held computer market decreased to 10.4 million units, off 17.9 percent from the previous year's shipments of 12.6 million units, IDC said in an industry report.
In the fourth quarter, shipments rose to 3.4 million units, up 3.2 percent from the previous year and up 52.7 percent from the third quarter.
While demand for the hand-held gadgets grew rapidly several years ago, interest has waned as consumers complained of high prices, and after other products -- like mobile phones -- began to incorporate those same functions.
"With a growing number of vendors and products that combine both personal information management (PIM) capability and telephony, consumers are moving away from devices that offer only PIM capability," IDC's David Linsalata said in a statement.
IDC said the top four vendors -- palmOne Inc., HP, Sony Corp., and Dell Inc., respectively -- maintained their market positions during the fourth quarter. (Reuters)
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