The Australian smart handheld device market kicked off the 2005 calendar year on a resounding note with the converged market maintaining strong growth.
Dominated by HP, RIM, PalmOne, 02 and Sony Ericsson, these devices that combine data and voice capabilities have taken over the handheld segment.
Like the iPaq h6300 and the i-mate, giving the user a single device that can handle at least rudimentary PIM functionality along with voice and multimedia is without question the way forward.
In this category, the Research In Motion (RIM) Blackberry phones (pictured), available through Vodafone and Telstra, will increasingly come under pressure in the business market as more phones gain access to corporate email. Growth in 3G will also help sales as improved data rates makes content more accessible.
Optus and palmOne recently announced plans to offer corporate customers an integrated corporate email service on the Treo 650 smartphone. The solution, called MobileMail Corporate is yet another solution in the big push to wireless email access.
The Treo 650 smartphone from palmOne is a quad-band mobile with a good suite of productivity applications, including email, organiser and web access. Naturally based on the Palm OS, users can view, edit and create Word and Excel compatible documents and access PowerPoint presentations. No WiFi, but the device has Bluetooth and the usual array of multimedia capabilities including MP3 player, digital video camera and a large screen.
New to the market is the latest from O2. The Xphone IIm runs Windows Mobile 2003 and is being pitched at commuters on its entertainment strengths. Unlike the phone’s data centric siblings, the O2 Xda II range, this is a phone first and foremost with less processing power and a focus on easy access to MP3s and video playback. It does however feature Microsoft Pocket Outlook and MSN Messenger to keep you