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View Full Version : Non-Connected PDA Marketshare Continues Slide

Janak Parekh
06-03-2005, 09:00 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7820085/' target='_blank'>http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7820085/</a><br /><br /></div><i>"Shipments of personal digital assistants declined for the third consecutive quarter as large vendors continued ceding the depressed market to smaller electronics makers, the research firm IDC said Wednesday. Worldwide shipments of handheld PDAs lacking telephone capabilities decreased to 2.1 million units in the third quarter ending Sept. 30 an 8.7 percent drop compared with the same quarter a year ago and a 4.6 percent decline from this year's second quarter, Framingham-based IDC said...So-called smart phones, which combine organizer functions with voice capabilities and more, have absorbed some of the PDA market."</i><br /><br />Having used connected Windows Mobile solutions the last few years, I can see why this is the case. While there are still lots of useful applications for standalone PDAs, and for which HP and Dell will manufacture units, it's incredibly convenient to have an always-connected PDA. I think Microsoft realizes this with WM5. They've made the Pocket PC Phone and Smartphone code base closer, and the addition of softkeys to the Pocket PC platform makes it more natural for phone applications; the flurry of devices from Computex also suggests that vendors are also enthusiastic about the possibilities. Now, if only I could get my hands on an HTC Universal...<br /><br />The article also cites the fact that PalmOne's share continues to slip; it's only 4 percentage points above HP's marketshare <i>alone</i>. I find it interesting that MiTAC is fourth; is this MiTAC-branded stuff popular in Europe and Asia, or is it just that they sell a lot of OEM product?

06-03-2005, 10:19 PM

Actually analysis of the numbers demonstrate a further decline in POS handheld numbers. POS handhelds declined by 23%, while WM HH's actually increased by 19% (Acer +Dell + Medion+ HP). Also Palm continued to thread water, growing only 2.8%. The sale of HP 6300 series did not register, same as the various XDA's and MDA's and VPA's etc. I do have to wonder though how much of that big 10% other belong to WM (Palm is only 4.6%).

In short, Palm OS in not drastically increasing their market share, and they continue to lose handheld users. WM is growing strong in the handheld market, and probably also in the phone market too.


06-04-2005, 12:34 AM
It saddens me to know that non-connected PDAs are dwindling. I use my PDA all the time and would prefer a non connected PDA over a converged one. Now let me explained, at work I have been given and use during work and off work an XDA3 pocket pc, Treo 600, Treo 650, XDA2 and more. And though I like having the all in one device, I'd still prefer having a single PDA that will not change with the carrier of my mobile phone. I'd rather much have a real mobile phone with Bluetooth that fits comfortable in my hand and use that in conjunction with my PDA and actually still be using my PDA to take notes, look up information or do other things while talking in my handset. Of course they have Bluetooth headsets for phones that will allow you to still use your PDA while talking, though I'd still prefer the method explained above and save the batter on my PDA than using it on a voice call.. I mean face it.. Cell phones just have better battery life, smaller to carry, usually feels more natural to your hand, sometimes even more rugged than PDAs, and at last is more disposable than any PDA will ever be when needing to switch to another carrier.

06-04-2005, 01:06 PM
I got my first WiFi PDA last year - the first was the Sony Clie TH55, and I loved it so much I got a WiFi PPC as well. I never want to go back to non-connected PDAs. The freedom to check your mail or listen to internet radio or connect to your PC from anywhere inside and outside of your house or work - without having to lug kilos of laptop - is awesome.

And now that WiFi gear is so cheap, it's no wonder that people want more connected devices. From there, it's only a logical step to a Smartphone.

Oh and regarding Mitac: they make several PDA's with integrated GPS units. Combine those with the outstanding European maps (better the the US and other countries so I hear), and you have a relatively cheap, high quality door-to-door navigation system. That's why those TomTom Gos and PDA sets are very popular here in general.

06-04-2005, 04:01 PM
For me, the main problem with converged devices is the US phone carriers. In my ideal world, I'd have two devices -- a very small simple phone and the latest and greatest PDA (with phone capability). I'd have a reasonably priced voice/unlimited data plan, and a SIM card that could go into whichever of my two devices I wanted to use. The PDA would NOT be sold by the carriers. I could upgrade whenever I wanted, without waiting for the phone company to release new models, and none of ithe PDA's features would be disabled. I don't see this happening anytime soon.

Eriq Cook
06-05-2005, 12:34 AM
IMO in todays world it makes no sense to have a powerful mobile computer and no way to send/receive messages, access the Internet, etc. Now that I'm on my second connected Pocket PC, I can't imagine going back to a Pocket PC that can't sync my e-mail remotely, or allow me to get driving directions and check movie showtimes while I'm on the go. I admit, I've gotten a bit spoiled not having to find/use a desktop computer w/Internet access just to find certain information, but it is becoming the norm.