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Old 01-31-2005, 08:13 AM   #1
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PDAs lack growth, according to latest study

PDAs, surprise surprise!, are losing ground to smartphone and feature phones. According to analyst firm Canalys, global mobile device sales grew by 51% in the last quarter of 2004 compared to the year before. While the market for smartphones, or "voice-centric devices", increased by a breathtaking 101%, the market for handhelds (including wireless-enabled devices), so-called "data-centric devices", rose just by 5% for the year.

Nokia is the leader in shipped smartphones (4.9m in the quarter), followed by palmOne, whose combined 1.5m handheld and smart phone shipments meant an 8% overall growth. The reports also notes that growth could have been better if the Treo 650 had been more widely available at the time. Still, palmOne remains the leading smart phone vendor in North America.

Research in Motion continues to chase HP for the third place, with increase in sales of 249% on last year compared to HP's 1% growth.
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Old 01-31-2005, 12:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheus
While the market for smartphones, or "voice-centric devices", increased by a breathtaking 101%, the market for handhelds (including wireless-enabled devices), so-called "data-centric devices", rose just by 5% for the year.
Could that possibly have anything to do with the fact that there are SIGNIFICANLY more phone vendors than PDA vendors? There's a LOT of handsets out there, versus the number of active PDA models and types in the same market space.

Also, let's not forget that Sony and Handspring are gone (well, Handspring merged back into palmOne, but their market for handset growth hasn't increased). Sony used to put out 5 new models per-year, so that's going to cause a significant drop, even if NO new "smartphone" units were sold at all.

As with most studies like this, they take a very narrowly-scoped view of the overall situation, and neglect to include a lot of the obvious weighting factors.
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Old 01-31-2005, 01:10 PM   #3
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Also think about how many people already have a PDA. If you have a recent one, has there really been any new innovations worth upgrading for this year?
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Old 01-31-2005, 01:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker
Could that possibly have anything to do with the fact that there are SIGNIFICANLY more phone vendors than PDA vendors? There's a LOT of handsets out there, versus the number of active PDA models and types in the same market space.
Essentially, you're saying there are less PDA's because there are less vendors selling them. That's what the numbers in this study are saying as well. I don't see how this impacts the overall conclusion.
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Old 01-31-2005, 06:10 PM   #5
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Thumbs down Reason to upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos
Also think about how many people already have a PDA. If you have a recent one, has there really been any new innovations worth upgrading for this year?
Nope. The Tungsten 5 is a dud. PDA/Phones are worthless (how are you going to take notes and such while the device is attached to your head?).

I'm getting tired of my Tungsten C, but I see nothing worth upgrading to.
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Old 01-31-2005, 08:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlauzon
PDA/Phones are worthless (how are you going to take notes and such while the device is attached to your head?).
The Treo comes with a wired earpiece/mic, and it also has a great speakerphone .

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Old 02-07-2005, 01:14 PM   #7
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I see a lot of confusion with this whole convergence thing. Many of the vendors seem to be jumping ship from the PDA market 'cause they appear concerned that the SmartPhone industry is going to kill them. Personally, I think that converging a PDA into a phone isn't really the direction I want to go; a least, not until someone figures out how to make the whole thing smaller. I would never give up my tiny cell, for something larger, just because it supports Windows Mobile, or PalmOS. ... and vice-versa. A tiny PDA isn't my idea of functional.

My humble opinion is that more PDA functionality should show up in the PMP/PVP devices. Those devices are designed with the idea of synchronizing, storage, and general portability. The phone is, and has most always been, the tiny device for conversation. Why make my PDA too small, or my conversation device "luggable?"

My $0.02.
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Old 02-08-2005, 01:13 AM   #8
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I do think we are heading towards convergence, though. We're already seeing a proliferation of terms across the product ranges: you have a Nokia "Communicator" now and also a Windows "Mobile" Phone PDA.

The O2 Mini's managed to be "relatively small", compared with a standalone PDA, and this year we are expecting more models from Samsung, ETEN and HP.

Having said that, however, I do believe that current models need to improve on their usability. Not everyone enjoys or thinks it is necessary to go through the more complex PDA features; some would be rather happy to use them as sophisticated phones. So IMHO convergence shouldn't be looked at in terms of features, but in terms of the end-user's experience.

One thing for sure is that the lines between PDA and phones are blurring rapidly, and at this rate we'll have a Tricorder soon enough.

Last edited by cheshire; 02-08-2005 at 01:18 AM.
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