PDA demand continues to fall

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PDA demand continues to fall

Worldwide demand for personal digital assistants continues to decline as manufacturers attempt to switch from selling electronic organisers to handheld wireless devices, according to IDC's quarterly PDA report.

Global shipments of PDAs in the first quarter of 2002 fell 12.1% year on year in the first quarter, and dropped 25.4% compared with the fourth quarter of 2001 to 3.25 million units shipped, IDC said.

Though sales of PDAs are usually expected to decline as a result of a post-Christmas lull, general demand for PDAs has been stagnant over the past year..

Palm continued to dominate the market, holding a 39% share. Its closest competitor was Compaq (10.1%), followed by Handspring (9.9%), Sony (7.7%) and Sharp (4.5%).

Compaq had a strong showing in the European market, overtaking Handspring for the number two slot for the first time, IDC said.

Compaq's iPaq has been performing so well that, should the acquisition of the company by Hewlett-Packard finalised, the iPaq would, most likely, become the PDA product line for the merged company.

In the US, Handspring held the number two position (14.6% of the market), followed by Sony (10.8%), Compaq (8.6%), and Research In Motion (5%).

Handspring said it was confident that Treo - its combined mobile phone and PDA - would help lead the company back to profitability. However, it also pointed out that the transition to selling wireless devices required more training for its sales staff to sell the product.

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