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NPD Predicts Personal Digital Assistant Sales To Double

PORT WASHINGTON, NY — NPD Intelect is predicting sales of personal digital assistants (PDAs) will more than double over last year, based on first-half sales.

Tracking U.S. sales of all channels (including retail, mail order and corporate) NPD data showed PDA sales for January through June of 2000 were equal to sales of all of 1999, or 1.3 million units, indicating 100 percent growth for the year. In addition, June 2000 sales of PDAs were up 190 percent over the previous June.

Total dollar sales of PDAs reached $436.5 million in 1999, while in first-half 2000, total dollar sales approached $406.9 million, said NPD.

Broken down by brand, Palm continues to be the leader, with a 65 percent share in June, followed by Handspring at 21 percent, which “has taken a bite out of the business of Palm and Casio,” according to a spokesman.

The average price of a PDA slipped from $350 in June 1999 to $324 this June.

NPD said another trend contributing to continued growth in PDAs is the broader product assortment targeting a wider demographic.

“Initially, PDA products were targeted to professionals, tech-savvy consumers and men,” said Lisa Schmidt, NPD Intelect manager of technology products. “Today companies such as Handspring with its colorful Visors, Palm with its affordable M series [$150] and new Claudia Schiffer Palm, and Sony with its upcoming PDA line should open up the largely untapped, young consumer and female market.”