IDC: PDA shipments decline 9.3 percent in Q2

The number of handheld PDAs (personal digital assistants) shipped worldwide declined 9.3 percent in the second quarter of 2002 compared with the same quarter last year, according to market researcher IDC.

About 2.6 million PDAs were shipped in the second quarter, down from just under 2.9 million in the same quarter last year, IDC said in a release Tuesday. Demand was soft in the second quarter because the economy in most regions is weak, said Weili Su, senior analyst in IDC's Smart Handheld Devices research service, in the release. In the second half of this year, worldwide market growth is expected to remain flat compared with last year, Su said in the release.

IDC defines PDAs as pen-based and keypad-based handheld devices with features such as an address book and calendar. The definition excludes devices that combine voice telephony and traditional PDA features. Researchers counted shipments to distribution channels and direct to end users.

Palm Inc. held the largest share of the market in the second quarter of this year with 32.2 percent, up from 30.9 percent in the second quarter last year, IDC's research showed. Second were PDAs made by Hewlett-Packard Co. with 16.5 percent and third were PDAs made by Sony Corp. with 10 percent. Handspring Inc. with 6.5 percent and China-based manufacturer Hi-Tech Wealth Electronic Product Co. Ltd. with 4.6 percent were fourth and fifth respectively, according to IDC, based in Framingham, Massachusetts.

The second quarter of this year marked the first time IDC counted shipments of Hewlett-Packard and Compaq Computer Corp. handheld devices together. HP's acquisition of Compaq moved it into the number two position among PDA vendors. Given the success of Compaq's iPaqs, Hewlett-Packard will continue to challenge Palm's top market position, IDC's release said.

(IDC is a division of International Data Group Inc., the parent company of IDG News Service.)

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Gretel Johnston

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