Dell dumps handheld business

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Dell dumps handheld business

Dell appears to have quietly ended its presence in the Pocket PC market with the removal of its Axim x51 handheld from the company’s web site.

Dell got into the handheld market five years ago and its latest model was launched in 2005. The company standardised on the Pocket PC platform and early models did much to push down the price of Palm OS competitors.

"Dell has no immediate plans to offer a follow-on product to the Axim X51 family,” a spokewoman told vnunet.

“While the Axim X51 has been removed from, an assortment of third party handhelds including GPS devices and unlocked SmartPhones from leading manufacturers that feature the latest technology are available.

However, Dell will provide technical and warranty support for Axim and Dell-branded Axim peripherals per the terms defined in the applicable customer’s support agreement and warranty agreements.”

The move is further evidence of the decline of the unconnected handheld market as customers switch to either smartphones or PDAs with cellular connections.

“The handheld market is in decline,” said Pete Cunningham, senior analyst at Canalys.

“The market was down 33 percent worldwide last year and Dell’s performance was in line with that. We expect to see more market consolidation as other companies leave too.”

He continued that while the Dell handheld range could have incorporated cellular technology into existing handsets this would demand a fundamental shift in the company’s business model.
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