Worldwide shipments of handhelds grew in the third quarter, bucking a recent trend, but total shipments for the year are expected to finish well below 2002 levels, according to a research report from IDC.

Worldwide device shipments grew 1.1 percent, to 2.37 million units, in the third quarter compared with the same period a year ago. In the top three spots, Hewlett-Packard moved further ahead of Sony Electronics and crept up on Palm, the No. 1 handheld maker.

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