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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Corporate Mobile Gear Mart to Rise 90 Pct in Japan
  • October 12, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Japan's market for mobile gear or mobile information terminals for corporate users is projected to rise 92 percent to 629,000 units in 1998 compared to last year.
    This is according to a survey by Nikkei Market Access, a members-only IT information service. Mobile gear includes sub-notebook personal computers and personal digital assistants (PDA).

    Mobile gear are defined as small computers weighing less than 1.5kg. A PDA is a mobile device with communication capabilities and its own operating system. Electronic organizers and handy terminals are excluded.

    The survey, targeting the corporate market, excluded purchases by small office, home office (SOHO) users at retail stores.

    The retail market has grown just as greatly as the enterprise market. Corporate demand for mobile gear for the whole market is 32.2 percent in 1998, marking only a 5.6-point increase from a year earlier. Japan's mobile gear market, combining corporate and retail channels, is expected to be 1,954,000 units in 1998.

    Sub-notebook personal computers, popular at stores since the latter half of 1997, are also growing in the enterprise market. Nikkei Market Access predicts that the figure will be 345,000 units in 1998, twice as high as the previous year.

    Handheld PCs (H/PCs) with Windows CE and PDAs are not performing as strongly as expected. PDAs increased 45 percent from the previous year to 209,000 units. H/PCs being introduced in the third quarter of 1997 are expected to triple to 75,000 units in 1998, not as much as expected.

    While more enterprises introduce PDAs or H/PCs, not many people actually carry them and use them outside their office. At this moment, PDAs and H/PCs are not in absolute need because their use is limited to, for example, creating sales reports and managing orders at the office or at home.

    Looking at types of business among corporate users that introduce mobile gear for their operations, the finance/insurance sector makes up a big part, accounting for 20 percent. In the past, major insurance companies assigned PDAs to each sales person to maintain customer lists and sales management. But nowadays, more companies give their employees a notebook PC instead of a PDA.

    Most mobile gear adopted by finance/insurance businesses since 1997 are sub-notebook PCs. The medicine and services sectors, where demand for mobile gear is high, tend to use sub-notebook PCs. Only the distribution sector is seeing a combined number of PDAs and H/PCs that is higher than sub-notebook PCs.

    (Nikkei Market Access)

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    Updated: Fri Oct 9 18:59:11 1998 PDT