David Linsalata, analyst in IDC's Mobile Devices program, said "Despite increasingly powerful handheld devices reaching market, the consumer uptake of entry-level devices available from nearly every vendor calls into question the upgrade path and value posed by the high-end devices. If entry-level devices prove to be the most successful products adopted by consumers, the long-term impact could be acceleration away from hardware differentiation and a further loss of value in the handheld industry."
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.
Linsalta concludes, "Handheld device vendors must continue to search for consumer and enterprise solutions for their products, such as GPS device bundles, that utilize the range of capabilities contained in a handheld device."
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