Worldwide shipments of PDAs are nearly a third higher than last year and showing a revival after three years of decline, according to industry analyst Gartner.
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Figures for the second quarter of 2005 show a total of 3.6 million units was shipped – a 32% increase on the same period last year. The rise means 15 million PDAs are set to be shipped by the end of 2005, well over the record 13.2 million units shipped in 2001, Gartner predicted.
Todd Kort, principal analyst in Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide group, attributed the growth to a combination of factors. “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 an attractive price. These factors have aided in the recovery of the slumping PDA market of 2002-2004,” he said.
The biggest seller was BlackBerry, with shipments growing 64.7% during the second quarter. Palm and HP's market share continued to suffer, although this could change with new products to replace ageing models expected to be introduced later this year.
Microsoft tops the list of PDA operating system suppliers, accounting for 46% of shipments, followed by RIM, with 23.2%. Palm OS PDA shipments have fallen 40.9% since a year ago.