ad info
   personal technology

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

CNN Websites
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines

 message boards





Smart phones are coming

       Sign up for the Computer Connection email service

   For more computing stories

June 9, 1999
Web posted at: 4:47 p.m. EDT (2047 GMT)

by Matt Hamblen

(IDG) -- The handhelds are coming.

Information technology managers everywhere are already cursing the number of handhelds brought in the backdoor by users. And they're rushing to find ways to make the devices more useful to their operations and easier to support.

  Computerworld's home page
  Computerworld Year 2000 resource center
  Computerworld's online subscription center
 Reviews & in-depth info at's personal news page
  Year 2000 World
  Questions about computers? Let's editors help you
  Subscribe to's free daily newsletter for IT leaders
  Search in 12 languages
 News Radio
 * Computerworld Minute
 * Fusion audio primers

But two separate market projections released this week show tremendous growth in handheld and smart phone sales, which analysts say will require unprepared IT managers to get a better handle on the situation.

Dataquest, a division of Gartner Group Inc. in San Jose, put worldwide sales of handheld computers at 21 million in 2003, up from nearly 4 million last year.

Meanwhile, International Data Corp. (IDC), a sister company to Computerworld in Framingham, Mass., projected that nearly 19 million handheld computers will sell in 2003, up from 4.3 million last year.

And IDC released a separate study that says 654,000 smart phones sold worldwide in 1998 and that sales are expected to reach 12.9 million units in 2003. IDC defines a smart phone as a data-enabled cellular phone that allows Web browsing and e-mail access, data manipulation and use of personal information manager (PIM) software.

Handhelds generally are defined to include personal companions like the PalmPilot from Palm Computing Inc., a 3Com Corp. company, and PC companions with keyboards, which include a wide variety of Windows CE machines sold by many vendors.

Ken Dulaney, an analyst at Gartner Group in Stamford, Conn., said the market projections point out that IT "needs to keep on top of the handheld and smart phone phenomenon because we clearly don't know where it's going yet."

Added House: "Companies are going to need a strategy to deal with these."

"The real story is smart phones," Dulaney said. "They will dwarf handhelds because so many people already carry a cellular phone." About 200 million cellular phones are in use today. He predicts three times as many smart phones will sell in 2003 than handhelds, though Dataquest hasn't done any smart-phone projections, a spokeswoman said.

Making a handheld computer, such as the Palm VII, into a wireless data browsing device, is much more complicated than adding the relatively simple functions of a PIM to a wireless phone, Dulaney said.

Will your next PC be a cell phone?
June 7, 1999
Glitches plague digital model of Motorola's StarTac phone
June 1, 1999
Gates pitches 'digital dashboards' to bevy of top CEOs
May 21, 1999

Handhelds take on corporate functions
QuickStudy: Smart phones
Study sees 3Com's Palm continuing handheld lead
Gates sees Windows on your wrist and in your TV
Users: Phones are smart enough already
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

Gartner Group
The Gadget Guru home page
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.