Palm holds on as Pocket PC nips heels

Palm still leads the pack in PDA operating systems, but by an ever-decreasing margin, according to market analyst Inform. Over the past six months, the Palm OS has faced stiff competition from Windows Pocket PC.

According to the latest figures, the Palm OS holds 50.7 per cent market share, compared to 48.9 per cent for Pocket PC.

Inform analyst Luke Solyom attributes the change to the success of Microsoft's Windows Pocket PC 2002 operating system along with the launch of the Compaq iPAQ 3850 and 3870 PDAs. Stellar sales for the two models prompted HP to scrap earlier devices to focus on the two products.

However, Palm is still dominant at the entry level of the market, where the operating system holds 75 per cent market share and most devices are Palm hardware.

"This lower price point is the single biggest advantage that Palm OS devices have and this makes it a lucrative option for wide-scale deployment," said Solyom in his Infocus report.

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