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Europe drives world PDA growth

Antony Savvas

Worldwide personal digital assistant (PDA) shipments were up almost 21% in the third quarter, helped by big European growth, said analyst Gartner.

Shipments totalled 3.45 million units in the third quarter of 2005, a 20.7% increase from the same period last year, said Gartner.

For the year, the market is expected to reach 15 million units, surpassing the record 13.2 million units shipped in 2001, when excitement over the mini-handhelds reached its peak.

“The rapid spread of wireless e-mail and use of GPS-enabled PDAs, which offer most of the functionality of dedicated car navigation systems at a fraction of the cost, is propelling the PDA market to record growth,” said Gartner analyst Todd Kort.

Kort said, “This growth is most noticeable in Europe. In fact, Europe is catching up with North America in terms of usage of PDAs in vertical markets and the use of cellular wireless PDAs.”

Research in Motion's (RIM) Blackberry shipments grew 52.6% in the third quarter, as the company extended its lead as the number-one vendor in worldwide PDA shipments, said Gartner.

But Heweltt-Packard's iPAQ shipments declined 20.2% in the third quarter, and PalmOne's PDA shipments declined 36%.

Microsoft Pocket PC Phone Edition devices have shown big growth from a previous low base, said the analyst.


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