Copyright 2001 The International Herald Tribune | www.iht.com Palm Adds to Its Lead in Europe Bloomberg News Bloomberg News Friday, October 26, 2001 Gain Comes as Sales of Handhelds Slow Palm Inc. increased its lead in the European market for handheld computers in the third quarter as sales fell more than one-third amid slowing economic growth, Gartner Inc.’s Dataquest unit said Thursday. Palm improved its market share by 5.6 percent over the previous three months, while second-placed Compaq Computer Corp.’s sales slid more than 13 percent, Dataquest said. Compaq’s shipments were less than half those in the previous quarter. Overall, shipments dropped 34.5 percent, compared with the same period last year. Handheld-computer makers are slashing prices as the number of first-time buyers drops. Palm this month cut prices on its two cheapest handheld devices to spur demand. Hewlett-Packard Co. shaved 20 percent from its prices in August, while Psion PLC, the British inventor of the electronic organizer in 1984, stopped making new models in July. Sales fell as consumers delayed buying older devices, some preferring to wait for devices that use Microsoft Corp.’s new Pocket PC 2002 operating system, Dataquest said. Pocket PC 2002 means “more advanced devices will hit the European market by the end of 2001,” a Dataquest analyst, Robert Cozza, said in a statement. “This shift will intensify competitive pressures.” Handspring Inc., the third-biggest maker, last week said its first-quarter loss widened and it would lose more than analysts had predicted.