Handheld’s founder, Jerker Hellström, helped pioneer ruggedized computer manufacturing while part of the British company Husky Computers Ltd. In 1997, Jerker and some colleagues acquired the Scandinavian division of Husky Computers and founded Handheld Group. The company continued to distribute and market Husky products with a focus on the Scandinavian market.
In 2003, a new ownership structure was set in place when Thomas Löfblad joined Jerker as a co-owner. With ambitions of building a leading company in the worldwide rugged industry, Thomas and Jerker formed a new, two- fold strategy: to expand globally, and to move the company from a distribution business model to a manufacturing model.
Handheld’s channel-centric approach focuses on building a strong worldwide network of resale and distribution partners. Numerous local subsidiaries support our growth by offering physical locations in closer proximity to our partners and end users. We established our first subsidiary in Finland in 2007. The U.S. office was founded in 2008, followed by new subsidiaries in Italy and the Netherlands in 2009, and in Sydney, Australia in 2011. In early 2012, Handheld acquired assets from distributor Latschbacher/TimbaTec in Germany and Switzerland and subsequently started Handheld Germany and Handheld Swiss. Later that year, the U.K. subsidiary was born.
The vision to build best-in-class rugged computers using an outsourced approach has come to fruition in our lean and efficient Virtual Production Model. According to this development model, all specifications and industrial design elements are created in-house, while engineering and manufacturing are outsourced. Today, we have manufacturing partners in Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and China.