Gartner's Q2 view of PDA market lifted by wireless

Wireless PDAs are lifting the overall market as users dump their older devices, according to Gartner.

While shipments of unconnected personal digital assistants (PDAs) are falling fast, PDAs with any type of wireless radio are a big hit with both corporate users and trendy quasi-celebrities, according to research released Tuesday by Gartner.

Shipments of PDAs reached 3.6 million units, a rise of 32 percent as compared to the previous year, said Todd Kort, principal analyst with Gartner. This stands in sharp contrast to results posted by IDC last week that showed a precipitous drop in PDA shipments, but the two companies look at the market in very different ways.

According to Gartner, a PDA is "a data-centric handheld computer weighing less than one pound that is primarily designed for use with both hands," the company said in a press release. This definition does not include devices such as Palm Inc.'s Treo 650 or Research in Motion's (RIM's) BlackBerry 7100, which are smart phones in Gartner's way of thinking, Kort said.

IDC, on the other hand, calls a PDA a pocket-sized device that synchronizes with a PC but doesn't include voice capabilities. Shipments of these devices are falling as mobile phones grow more sophisticated and include many of the traditional PDA features such as calendars and contact databases, according to both Gartner and IDC.

So in Gartner's results, RIM led the worldwide market in the second quarter with 840,000 units shipped, ahead of Palm. RIM's BlackBerry devices allow corporate users to wirelessly send and receive e-mail stored on company networks. Some newer BlackBerry models, such as the BlackBerry 7100, also include voice capabilities, but most people see the BlackBerry as a data-centric device and actually carry a separate mobile phone to make calls, Kort said.

Palm is reaching a transition point in its history, as it shifts from making unconnected PDAs to making smart phones such as the Treo 650. Gartner didn't include shipments of the Treos in its research, but Palm will probably sell more Treos than PDAs in 2006, Kort said. Palm's PDA shipments fell 30 percent in the second quarter to 642,020 units, which was still enough to edge out the 450,513 units shipped by Hewlett-Packard in the quarter.

Nokia made it onto Gartner's list of the top five vendors based on the strength of demand for its 9300 and 9500 devices, Kort said. Nokia calls the 9300 a smart phone on its Web page, but the 9300 can be used as a two-handed e-mail device when unfolded. The 9500 uses a similar design.

Nokia was also the glad recipient of a surge in European PDA buying, Kort said. PDA vendors shipped 94 percent more units to Europe than in the previous year, as compared to a tepid 1.3 percent increase in the U.S. Favorable currency rates and an increasing number of companies shipping low-cost PDAs based on Microsoft Corp.'s CE operating system helped boost shipments in Europe, Kort said.

T-Mobile International came in fifth on Gartner's list, edging out Dell. T-Mobile's strength in Europe played a role in its ascendance, but the company also was helped by an increase in shipments of its Sidekick II in the U.S. after hotel heiress Paris Hilton's Sidekick II voice-mail account was hacked and her e-mail messages posted on the Internet.

Despite the privacy implications of the security breach voiced by concerned T-Mobile users, the event proved the old adage about the benefits of even negative attention, Kort said.

"The Paris Hilton incident seems to be a case in which bad publicity is better than no publicity at all," he said. "It raised awareness in such a way that millions of dollars couldn't do."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Krazit

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?