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PDA shipments hit new level

Tash Shifrin

Worldwide shipments of handheld PDAs totaled a record 3.7 million units in the second quarter of 2006, new figures from industry analyst Gartner have revealed.

The figures show a 2.7% increase in shipments, compared to the same period last year – and the highest ever second-quarter PDA total.

Gartner put much of the growth in the PDA market down to the rise of new suppliers that were not among the market leaders last year, pushing devices with integrated wide area network. The analyst firm cited Mio Technology, Motorola and Danger Research as among the up-and-coming suppliers.

But last year’s top sellers and the industry’s best-known names - Research In Motion (RIM), Palm, Hewlett-Packard and Dell - have seen shipments stay steady or fall.

RIM still tops the table with 22.5% of the market share, after a 1.1% decline in shipments, ahead of Palm, whose shipments plummeted by 26.7% year on year, leaving it with 12.7% of the market.

Todd Kort, principal analyst at Gartner's computing platforms worldwide group, said, "The ongoing integration of WAN technology into PDAs, and the marketing push of these devices by wireless operators has produced most of the growth compared to one year ago.”

He added that the average price of PDAs had fallen 6% over the past year, due to aging product lines, the increasing impact of wireless operator subsidies and the launch of relatively few new PDAs this year.

 

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