IDC: Mobile Devices Poised for Continued Strong

Joanna Doyle

Greater variety and improvements in developing thinner, lighter and more powerful technology have put the U.S. mobile device market on pace for continued success into the new year after a strong performance in 1999, according to a new survey released this week by International Data Corporation (IDC).

IDC’s new Mobile User and Buyer ePanel program tracks awareness, adoption, usage patterns and requirements for mobile IT devices through quarterly online surveys of more than 1,400 users. Survey results from fourth quarter 1999 showed 76 percent of mobile device buyers said their companies plan to purchase portable PCs in the coming year, and 51 percent of the portable PC users surveyed said they will purchase a new notebook computer in 2000. In addition, the survey showed 28 percent of respondents plan to purchase a personal companion (Palm device, Pocket PC, etc.) and 25 percent are considering adding a PC companion within a year.

Despite the generally positive outlook for mobile devices, however, the survey did reveal some shortcomings cited by users, especially with regard to portable PCs. For instance, 80 percent of notebook users said CPU speed and general performance was not sufficient, while 95 percent said battery life was inadequate. A further 82 percent said their notebooks were still too heavy.

The survey found Dell was the number-one notebook brand used by panelists, followed by IBM, Toshiba and Compaq. Palm dominated in the handhelds markets, and Nokia was the top handset used, followed by Motorola.