Handheld computers take focus from PCs

Thanks Darren Bolton again, for this news ;)

As PCs sales flounder, tech companies are investing in products geared to the fast-growing handheld market. Sales of handheld computers, such as personal digital assistants and portable email devices, are expected to grow 44% from 2002 to 2004, says Gartner Dataquest. PC sales are expected to increase 21% during the same period. At that rate, it will take until 2004 for the PC market to return to its size at the height of the tech boom.

PC-focused companies such as Intel, Microsoft and AMD are attempting to capitalize on the growing market by stepping-up investments in wireless products. These firms "are looking for the next big thing," says NPD Techworld analyst Stephen Baker. "There aren't a lot of markets right now that have the kind of potential that the handheld market does."

Computer chipmaker AMD expanded its handheld business earlier this month by buying Austin, Texas-based Alchemy Semiconductor. Alchemy, a start-up, designs processors for personal digital assistants and other kinds of small, wireless devices.

AMD hopes to strengthen its position in the handheld processor market, currently dominated by Motorola and Intel. "We see handhelds as a really high growth market over time," says Phil Pompa, marketing vice president for the new processor division.

Intel made a processor announcement of its own last week when it unveiled a new line of chips for wireless devices. The chips will run data-intensive applications such as video and music on handhelds, while using less power than today's processors.

News source: USAToday - Handheld computers take focus from PCs

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