PC giant Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) seeks to become a heavyweight in the handheld market by lightening people's loads, according to Reuters yesterday. Dell plans to introduce an enhanced version of its Axim personal digital assistant, which is supposed to be lighter and skinnier than its predecessor model, with a high-end version that will boast wireless connectivity.

Clearly, a lighter, smaller PDA is meant to appeal to those who have everything -- especially too much of everything -- in their pockets, bags, and briefcases. However, there's market saturation to contend with. Many people already have their PDAs of choice for now. It's often human nature to wait for a real must-have new feature before replacing what already works well enough.

Granted, while the interest in wireless connectivity is increasing, the high-end products that carry the feature may not be in such great demand as long as consumers and corporations are on shoestring budgets. These high-end models often retail at more than $300 a pop.

All of which underlines what the Reuters article states -- that IDC research shows handheld shipments will remain sluggish this year, falling 8.4% to 11.35 million units, and next year's growth will not be robust.

Dell's foray into consumer electronics, including handheld products, could show weakness in its core PC business. However, it's entering a crowded market in this case. Competitors include market leader Palm (NASDAQ:PALM) and Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry, both of which are well-respected by corporate techie types. Many other large companies have similar products, including Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), Sony (NYSE:SNE), and Toshiba.

Alyce Lomax welcomes your feedback at alomax@fool.com .