PDA Sales Steer Steady Course - Twice

PDA Sales Steer Steady Course

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New York - Worldwide shipments of PDAs were either slightly down or slightly up during the third quarter, depending on the analyst you follow.

Gartner said worldwide shipments of PDAs fell 0.2 percent in the third quarter over Q3 in 2002, according to its preliminary report. However, U.S. sales increased 5.2 percent for the quarter, it said.

IDC said worldwide shipments rose 1.1 percent.

The research firms agreed that Hewlett-Packard was the star performer this quarter as it introduced five new PocketPC models, many of which were well received.

According to IDC, the top three performers in the third quarter were Palm with 35.6 percent worldwide market share, HP with 24.5 percent and Sony with 11.5 percent share.

Gartner’s figures differed by up to 3 percentage points in market share. Gartner said Palm and Hewlett-Packard increased their shares by 6.5 and 98.5 percent respectively, while Sony lost share by 24.1 percent.

In the U.S. market, Palm’s third quarter share was 42.2 percent, down .6 percent and Hewlett Packard’s share was 9.8 percent, up by 117.1 percent, said Gartner. Sony, with a 20 percent US share saw a 33.3 percent decline for the quarter of the same quarter last year, Gartner said.

'Sony comes out with about ten new PDAs a year and they really haven’t hit a home run lately. The NX-70, which was shipping a year ago, was the first PDA with a digital camera so it did pretty well,' said Gartner principal analyst for computing platforms worldwide group, Todd Kort. He noted, however that 'Palm took a lot of the low end PDA/camera market back with the Zire 71.'

Gartner and IDC offered bearish forecasts for the market going forward. 'Unless holiday season demand proves particularly positive, the handheld device market will decline more steeply in 2003 than in 2002 as it returns to 2000 levels,' said IDC associate research analyst for Mobile Devices David Linsalata.

Gartner said Smartphone sales, while still limited in the US, were significant enough to slow down sales of PDAs. In addition, the enterprise market has been slow to adopt the PDA format.

In a worldwide overview, sales of PDAs have slowed in the Far East, as digital cameras have knocked PDAs out of the 'must have' product slot, said Kort.

Although Smartphones will continue to overshadow traditional PDA sales in both US and worldwide markets, enterprise sales should begin to pick up next year, said Kort. 'A new generation of WiFi based devices are about to launch and these are attractive to the enterprise for field service personnel as well as senior executives and people that need a lot of data,'' Kort said, noting that currently 'approximately 70 percent of all PDAs are purchased by consumers with their own funds.'

Table 1 Preliminary Worldwide PDA Vendor Shipment Estimates for 3Q03 (Units)

<p><br>Company</p><p><br>Shipments 3Q03</p><p><br>Market Share (%) 3Q03</p><p><br>Shipments 3Q02</p><p><br>Market Share (%) 3Q02</p><p><br>Growth (%)</p>


Palm


861,500


34.2


808,705


32.1


6.5


Hewlett-Packard


581,414


23.1


292,850


11.6


98.5


Sony


255,360


10.1


336,633


13.3


-24.1


Dell


137,400


5.5


NA


NA


NA


Research in Motion


123,775


4.9


59,800


2.4


107.0


Toshiba


84,496


3.4


144,891


5.7


-41.7


Others


473,479


18.8


879,809


34.9


-46.2


Total


2,517,424


100.0


2,522,688


100.0


-0.2

Note: Totals include wireless PDAs such as Palm Tungsten W and iPAQ 5550 but not smartphones.
NA = Not applicable
Source: Gartner Dataquest (November 2003)


Table 2 Preliminary U.S. PDA Vendor Shipment Estimates for 3Q03 (Units)

<p><br>Company</p><p><br>Shipments 3Q03</p><p><br>Market Share (%) 3Q03</p><p><br>Shipments 3Q02</p><p><br>Market Share (%) 3Q02</p><p><br>Growth (%)</p>


Palm


502,000


39.8


505,000


42.2


-0.6


Hewlett-Packard


254,000


20.1


117,000


9.8


117.1


Sony


160,000


12.7


240,000


20.0


-33.3


Dell


96,000


7.6


NA


NA


NA


Research in Motion


79,400


6.3


41,000


3.4


93.7


Toshiba


47,475


3.8


70,180


5.9


-32.4


Others


121,750


9.7


224,800


18.8


-45.8


Total


1,260,625


100.0


1,197,980


100.0


5.2

Note: Totals include wireless PDAs such as Palm Tungsten W and iPAQ 5550 but not smartphones.
NA = Not applicable
Source: Gartner Dataquest (November 2003)

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