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Hand-Held Computer Shipments Up 29%

May 13, 1997|(Reuters)

The hand-held computer, long seen as an expensive toy, is finally maturing into a necessity for executives, research firm Dataquest reported. Shipments of hand-held computers jumped a surprising 29% in 1996, led by strong sales of U.S. Robotics Corp.'s Pilot, and are expected to rise an additional 23% in 1997, San Jose-based Dataquest said. Worldwide shipments of hand-held computers rose to 1.6 million units in 1996. The Pilot, a hot-selling gadget that stores appointments and address books, had 51% of the hand-held market, Dataquest said. Hand-held computers based on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows CE software also expanded the market, but did not do as well as the Pilot. Apple Computer Inc. was the pioneer of the hand-held computer market when it introduced its Newton in 1993. The device did not sell well, because of its cost, limited software and unreliable handwriting recognition.

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