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ChangeWave: Smartphones Beating Out ‘Hybrid’ PDAs

A new report from ChangeWave Research found sales of e-mail-capable PDAs have “nearly ground to a halt” while smartphone sales are up.

ChangeWave regularly surveys a group of over 5,000 IT professionals responsible for corporate purchases. These individuals are also early-adopter consumers, and their buying habits are monitored as early trend predictors, said a ChangeWave spokesman.

The study of 2,040 professionals found that “hybrid” PDAs that perform e-mail (but not telephony) have declined in proportion to the rise in smartphone sales.

Since June, ownership of smartphones among respondents has increased by a third to 12 percent, while ownership of hybrid PDAs dropped by more than half to 3.3 percent.

In terms of brand share, Palm had a 28 percent share of smartphones owned by the IT professionals, down 2 percent. It held a slim 1 percentage point lead over Research in Motion (RIM) with a 27 percent share, up 3 percent. Motorola increased its share since June by 5 percent, to 11 percent.

The study found that more respondents owned a Hewlett-Packard hybrid PDA than Palm PDAs, with HP’s share increasing by 8 percent since June, to 29 percent, and Palm’s share up 5 percent, to 25 percent. Dell’s share was up 2 percent to 18 percent, and RIM saw a dramatic loss in share of 50 percent, down to 15 percent.

For those who planned to purchase a product in the next 90 days, 7.3 percent said they would buy a smartphone, compared to 1.2 percent who said they would buy a hybrid PDA.

Of those planning to buy smartphones, Palm is the top choice for 26 percent of the respondents, but its share dropped 5 percent since June. RIM, with 16 percent, is in second place and gained 2 percent.

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