The European market for smartphones and wireless handhelds increased by 170 per cent compared to this time last year, according to analyst firm Canalys.
The growth is being driven by two factors: mobile replacement with phones that "happen" to be smartphones, and the business need for mobile email.
"BlackBerry manufacturer RIM has enjoyed tremendous growth in EMEA over the past year, with total device shipments (smartphones plus wireless handhelds) up 130 per cent in the first half of 2005," said Canalys analyst Rachel Lashford.
"But RIM is seeing increasing competition from other players as the market is proving to be so lucrative.
"With Nokia and Microsoft respectively announcing the Nokia Business Center and the Windows Mobile 5.0 Messaging and Security Feature Pack, the challenge will increase. "
Worldwide sales of unconnected handhelds are falling, however, registering a drop of 10 per cent on the year.
But Europe bucked this trend, with sales rising 21 per cent. This is thought to be down to sales of in-car navigation systems that use a handheld as the interface.
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