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Tech - Computers

 July 13, 2001
Palm Extends Leadership In Its Key Asia Pacific Markets

 Year-end market data for 2000 released by IDC(1) shows that products based on the Palm OS(R) platform showed unit growth in Asia Pacific outside Japan, which is not covered by IDC's report, and People's Republic of China (PRC), where Palm currently has no appointed distributor. IDC's data shows that products based on the Palm OS platform had a share of 62.5 percent of the personal companion market across these regions, compared to 1999 year-end data from IDC showing market share of 51.7 percent. This market share represents a unit growth of 237 percent for Palm OS based devices.

The personal companion category is classified in part by IDC as handheld devices with pen-based input mechanisms. According to IDC, Palm(TM) branded products also showed unit growth in the Asia Pacific markets in which Palm has appointed distributors for its products - Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. Palm branded products achieved year-on-year unit growth in these markets of 192 percent. Market share for Palm branded products increased to 52.7 percent of the personal companion market across these regions.

IDC's findings mirror Palm's own: "Palm experienced growth in revenue and shipments for its products in its key Asia Pacific markets during calendar 2000," said Craig Will, director, Asia Pacific and Japan, Palm, Inc. "This reflects a conviction from consumers and corporations that Palm handhelds enhance lifestyles and productivity."

In the following Asia Pacific markets, Palm extended its lead with strong year-on-year market share growth for Palm branded products:

- Australia: up to 67.6 percent from 57.7 percent
- Hong Kong: up to 61.9 percent from 56.5 percent
- Singapore: up to 68.3 percent from 59.4 percent

Worldwide, products based on the Palm OS platform also lead the personal companion market in the United States, Western Europe and Japan, with year-end 2000 market share of 81.6 percent(2), 80.4 percent(3) and 45.6(4) percent respectively.

"We're confident about the prospects for Palm in Asia Pacific," said Will. "We have exciting new products, extraordinary brand positioning, the leading market share in our key regions, and are backed by the power of the Palm Economy, with more than 160,000 registered developers worldwide and 10,000 software applications written for the Palm OS platform. Palm and the growing community of Palm OS licensees will continue to extend the Palm OS platform into exciting new markets."

"IDC's findings demonstrate the continued popularity of Palm handhelds in Asia Pacific," said Cynthia Lim, analyst, IDC Asia Pacific. "We project continued growth for the Palm OS platform as Palm and its OS licensees introduce new products and technologies for consumers and corporations."

Recent highlights for the company in Asia Pacific include the following:

- Palm announced the Palm m500 series handhelds running Palm OS 4.0, which includes 16-bit color, increased security and support for telephony. The new product line features a Secure Digital (SD) and MultiMediaCard expansion slot and enhanced mobile connectivity, in a sleek form factor with Universal Connector and USB connectivity;

- Palm added a second member to its Palm m100 family with the Palm m105 handheld, which features added memory and software for email and Internet connectivity;

- Palm reached a milestone with the 10,000th third-party software application for Palm OS handhelds. Palm believes that no other handheld software platform has generated such a large number of associated applications in such a short time;

- The total number of handheld devices shipped by Palm to date is more than 13.7 million and, based on the number of applications available, the Palm OS is by far the leading handheld platform;

- The growing interest in handheld and wireless devices in Asia Pacific provide continued opportunities for the Palm Economy - the worldwide community of Palm OS licensees and more than 160,000 Palm OS developers, more than 17,500 of whom are located in Asia Pacific including Japan.

(1) IDC, "Asia Pacific (ex Japan) Smart Handheld Device Market Analysis and Forecast, 2000-2005," June 2001.

(2) IDC, "Hand Check: The Smart Handheld Devices Market Forecast and Analysis, 2000-2005," May 2001.

(3) IDC, "Western European Smart Handheld Device and Smartphone Market Forecast and Analysis," June 2001.

(4) IDC, "Japan Smart Handheld Device Market Analysis and Forecast, 1999-2005," May 2001.