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Traditional PDAs Down, BlackBerry Sales Up

New York — Shipments of traditional PDAs continued to slump, down 28.5 percent worldwide, according to IDC.

In a wider view of the category that includes e-mail-centric PDAs such as the BlackBerry 8700 series, sales, however, grew 28.4 percent in the United States in 2006 and 18.4 percent worldwide, according to Gartner Dataquest. IDC’s data does not include the BlackBerry.

Traditional PDAs declined because their core features, such as personal information management is now available on high-end cellular phones and smartphones, said IDC analyst Ramon Llamas. He added, “The proliferation of notebook computers with embedded wireless Wi-Fi has also allowed users to remain connected while on the go, further reducing the demand for handheld devices. Finally, GPS devices have gained momentum in the marketplace, and also negatively impacted handled devices.”

IDC said Palm’s shipments declined by 28.3 percent worldwide last year, although it retained the lead in traditional PDA sales with a worldwide share of 36.3 percent, stable with last year’s share of 36.1 percent. HP and Dell’s market share’s remained virtually stable at 22.1 percent and 9.0 percent, respectively, with HP’s shipments declining 30.4 percent and Dell’s down 33.4 percent. Mio’s share grew almost 4 percent, to 8.1 percent, and shipments increased 29.2 percent, while Sharp saw a 4 percent gain in market share, to 5.4 percent, and a 275.7 percent gain in worldwide shipments.

Looking at the broader market including BlackBerry, Gartner said that Research in Motion led in market share in 2006. It increased shipments by 10 percent over 2005, with a 20 percent share of the total PDA market.

Worldwide: PreliminaryPDAVendor Shipment Estimates, 2006 (Units)

Note: Excludes smartphones, such as Treo 750 and BlackBerry 8100 series, but includes cellular PDAs such as BlackBerry 8700 series.

Source: Gartner Dataquest (January 2007)