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PDA Sales Slumped In 2002

PDA sales declined worldwide this year by as much as 12 percent although sales are expected to rebound in 2003, according to two industry research firms.

A year-end report from Dataquest, San Jose, Calif., showed sales for the year declined 9.1 percent. International Data Corp. (IDC), Framingham, Mass. data indicated a decline of 12 percent from 2001.

Dataquest said worldwide shipments fell to 12.1 million units in 2002, attributing the decline to the slow adoption of PDAs by the enterprise market.

“We estimate that about 70 percent of all PDAs are purchased by consumers and only 30 percent by the enterprises,” said Todd Kort, principal analyst for Dataquest Computing Platforms Worldwide group. “The more lucrative enterprise market has been stagnant because of poor economic conditions and a perception that PDAs are not yet capable of delivering sufficient return on investment. The enterprise market is still another year away from embracing PDAs.”

IDC said PDAs were also down 12 percent worldwide for the fourth quarter compared to last year during the same period.

IDC principal analyst Alex Slawsby said, “The handheld industry has been struggling with the issue of delivering a compelling device that will cause current users to want to upgrade. Also the new connected devices tend to eat into sales of the unconnected units, and without the enterprise kicking in, the handheld industry is pretty much in a doldrums.” He noted that 2003 will see a return to growth, due to new players entering the market and lower prices. IDC expects 14 percent unit growth over 2002 with a partial economic rebound expected in the second half.

Dataquest said, in the U.S. market, Sony gained significant share while Palm maintained its share, despite an increase in competition. Sony jumped to the No. 2 position in 2002, up from the number six position in 2001, as its shipments increased 351.8 percent.

2002 U.S. PDA Vendor Shipments

Preliminary Unit Shipment Estimates

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