Cahners: PDA sales still growing, but more slowly

Hype may be building over wireless services, but a report from Cahners In-Stat Group Wednesday said sales of PDAs (personal digital assistants), popular devices needed to take advantage of those services, are slowing.

Total shipments of PDAs grew 17 percent in 2001, with 8 million units shipped during the year, according to the report. However, this positive growth is actually much less than the growth rate of 36 percent experienced in 2000, when 6.8 million units were shipped, said Neil Strother, senior analyst at Cahners In-Stat/MDR.

The slower growth rate can be blamed on several factors, including the stagnant global economy and troubles at market leader Palm Inc., which endured mounting inventories and the resignation of Chief Executive Officer Carl Yankowski, Strother said. Also, higher-end models are still too expensive for consumers and businesses to justify spending on the devices in the current economic climate, he said.

The report forecast an 18 percent growth rate for 2002, citing the entrance of new companies into the market, and the development of devices with more functionality and reliability. Consumers still drive sales of PDAs, and when they feel more secure financially, they will look to start purchasing the devices again, Strother said.

"Business customers probably won't implement laptop-like deployment (of PDAs) for another couple of years, but more and more enterprises are starting to show interest in them. Companies that can afford it, and can see a healthy ROI (return on investment) will deploy," he said.

The market for PDAs should continue to experience double-digit growth over the next few years, peaking at 30 percent in 2004, the report said.

In a development that might increase sales of new PDAs, Palm's dominant operating system was updated at the Palmsource conference in San Francisco Tuesday. Palm unveiled Palm OS 5, which features increased security, better support for 802.11b wireless LANs, and improved screen resolution. Palm OS 5 will also run on ARM Ltd.-designed chips, which have more than double the power of existing processors, said David Nagel, president of PalmSource Inc., the newly created spin-off of Palm, which will focus just on operating systems.

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

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

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?