PDA shipments continue to decline

Worldwide shipments of personal digital assistants continued to fall in the third quarter of this year as mobile phones with...

Worldwide shipments of personal digital assistants continued to fall in the third quarter of this year as mobile phones with similar functions claimed a portion of their market, claimed Gartner.

Global PDA shipments slipped 0.2% in the third quarter to 2.52 million units, resulting in the eighth consecutive quarter of year-on-year declines.

The market slump would have been even more profound had Hewlett-Packard not refreshed its product line with a series of lower-priced PDAs and offered operating system upgrades to its installed base, Gartner said.

HP introduced five models in the quarter and took 23.1% of the market share with 581,414 units shipped, and increased the number of units it shipped during the quarter by 98.5%.

Palm was the leading PDA provider during the quarter, taking 34.2% of the market with 861,500 units shipped.

Sony came in third with 10.1% of the market and 255,360 units shipped, although it lost ground, shipping 24.1% fewer PDAs than it did in the same quarter last year.

PDA newcomer Dell claimed approximately 5.5% of the market with 137,400 units shipped. Dell introduced its first PDA offerings late last year, and has since leapfrogged rivals such as Toshiba and Research in Motion.

Gartner said that the PDA market continues to be hampered by the fact that nearly 70% of all devices are paid for by consumers, rather than companies. New mobile phone features such as calendars and address books are also taking a share of the PDA market.

Scarlett Pruitt writes for IDG News Service

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