If a handheld device doesn’t have voice capabilities, it seems that no one wants to buy it anymore. International Data Corp., a market research firm, revealed that sales for no-voice devices fell for a 7th consecutive quarter. Shipments dropped 16.9% to 1.6 million units from the third quarter of last year and fell 8.8% from the second quarter of this year.
The obvious cause of this decline is the wide and ever-increasing variety of devices with integrated voice capabilities along with all the other bells and whistles of a traditional device. To counter the demand for voice, manufacturers are creating new features and integrating GPS.
It is expected that shipments will increase quarter-to-quarter because of the holiday season, but will still fall on a year-to-year basis.
“Offering solutions beyond (personal information management), such as GPS, and reaching out towards first-time users are important steps, but will not necessarily bring about a return to growth,” IDC analyst Ramon Llamas said in a statement. “Finding and expanding more solutions to modern mobile consumers and enterprises have become imperatives for the handheld market to drive growth.”
Palm is the biggest factor in the industry, shipping 33.8% of units, but they have seen their sales fall by 22.7% this year.