Magazine

Table: The Crowded Market for Small Devices


In just a year and a half, Handspring has sold more than 1 million handheld devices and grabbed more than a quarter of the exploding market.But it faces plenty of new challengers. Here's how the competition stacks up:

PALM INC. (PALM)

MARKET SHARE: 59%

PRODUCTS AND PRICES: m100, Palm IIIC, Palm V line, and Palm VII line; $150-$450

STRENGTHS: Market leader, with heavy brand recognition. It has signed up more than 150,000 developers to create software and hardware add-ons that will turn Palms into more than electronic organizers.

WEAKNESSES: The operating system is too simple to handle future applications such as video and voice recognition. It's difficult to connect to Microsoft Office products.

HANDSPRING INC. (HAND)

MARKET SHARE: 28%

PRODUCTS AND PRICES: Visor, Visor Edge, Visor Deluxe, Visor Platinum, and Visor Prism models; $150-$450

STRENGTHS: Its plug-and-play slot turns the Visor into a cell phone, an MP3 player, and more. Visors can exchange data with PCs faster than some Palms.

WEAKNESSES: Does not include flash memory; models cannot be upgraded to allow for new features such as video and voice recognition when the Palm operating software it uses changes.

COMPAQ COMPUTER (CPQ)

MARKET SHARE: 3%

PRODUCTS AND PRICES: iPaq and Aero lines; $500-$600

STRENGTHS: Uses the Microsoft Pocket PC operating system. Pocket versions of Microsoft Windows, Office, and MP3 player are built in.

WEAKNESSES: Component shortages have limited supply. The complex Microsoft operating system makes it harder to quickly develop compelling new software applications.

HEWLETT-PACKARD CO. (HWP)

MARKET SHARE: 3%

PRODUCTS AND PRICES: Jornada Pocket PC and Jornada Handheld PCs; $500-$600

STRENGTHS: Massive processor and memory. Easily links to Microsoft Office and e-mail software.

WEAKNESSES: Weighs a relatively heavy nine ounces and has no built-in wireless capability. Because it runs on the Microsoft system, it has fewer developers than Palm.

Market share data: PC Data

Other data: Company reports, BusinessWeek


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