To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of the PDA are exaggerations. Market research company Gartner Inc. says that worldwide PDA shipments totaled 3.6 million units in the second quarter of 2005. That's a 31.5% increase from the same period last year. The market also is on pace to reach 15 million units by the end of 2005, surpassing 2001's record 13.2 million total.
Conventional wisdom says today's cell phones make PDAs superfluous. But according to Todd Kort, principal analyst in Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide Group, "Wireless PDAs are increasingly seen as an adjunct or alternative to notebook computers, while favorable exchange rates have enabled more Europeans to purchase PDAs at attractive prices."
Research in Motion's BlackBerry shipments grew 64.7% in the second quarter, as the company was the number one vendor in worldwide PDA shipments. Dell's and Hewlett-Packard's market shares continued-to suffer, though Gartner expects them to refresh their aging market lines in the second half of 2005.
The Western European PDA market grew 94% to 1.3 million in the second quarter of 2005. Asia/Pacific grew 24.7% with 402,000 shipped. Yet U.S. shipments totaled 1.4 million units for a modest 1.3% increase. Gartner says the U.S. market is flat because of the continuing decline in Palm OS shipments and aging product lines among Microsoft licensees.
For details, see "PDA Market Continues Rapid Growth, Up 32% in 2Q05," available from Gartner.