Gartne, Inc. - a leading provider of research and analysis on the global information technology industry recently published the latest results of their quarterly PDA research. According to them, the worldwide personal digital assistant (PDA) shipments totaled 3.4 million units in the first quarter of 2005, a 25 percent increase from the same period last year. As a matter of fact, this was the strongest first quarter the industry has experienced!
The average selling price (ASP) of PDAs increased 15 percent in the first quarter of 2005 compared to the first quarter of 2004. The ASP was $406, which is the highest since Gartner began ASP estimates in 2000. Gartner analysts attributed the increased prices to the popularity of high-end wireless models.
"PDAs with integrated wireless local area network (LAN) or cellular capabilities accounted for approximately 55 percent of all PDAs shipped in the first quarter of 2005," said Todd Kort, principal analyst in Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide group. "This increase is primarily the result of the growing popularity of wireless e-mail, with users favoring larger displays and QWERTY keyboards that are operated with both hands."
Research in Motion's BlackBerry shipments grew 75.6 percent in the first quarter, as the company became the No. 1 ranked vendor in worldwide PDA shipments . palmOne PDA shipments declined 26.3 percent and its market share fell to 18 percent, its lowest market share since it entered the market in 1996. Nokia's re-entry into the wireless PDA market with the 9300 and 9500 enabled it to move into the No. 4 position.
Microsoft has become the No. 1 PDA operating system (OS), as it accounted for 46 percent of worldwide shipments. RIM assumed the second position, as Palm OS slipped to the No. 3 ranking, due to Palm OS shipments declining 38.8 percent.
"We expect that palmOne will be adding other operating systems and setting more of its own direction, while PalmSource is redirecting itself toward Linux and smartphones," Mr. Kort said.
The Western European PDA market grew 84.3 percent to 1.3 million units in the first quarter of 2005, while PDA shipments in the also totaled 1.3 million units, a 5 percent increase. PDA shipments in Asia/Pacific declined 2.7 percent with approximately 352,000 unit shipments. In Japan, PDA shipments declined 21.3 percent with nearly 80,000 units shipped in the first quarter.
Additional information is available in the Gartner report PDA Market Has Record First Quarter, Growing 25 Percent. The report is available on Gartner's Web site.
For me, two figures are interesting: First that the worldwide PDA market is still growing, even if its dead was already predicted several times, due to the smarter phones we have seen. Second it's good to see (for sure IMHO only) that Windows Mobile is still the top operating system for PDAs (a serious success story for Microsoft) but it's also interesting that RIM stays on position 2. I mean, nobody had RIM on the agenda a couple of years ago when everybody was talking about the PDA war between Windows CE and Palm and now Palm is the number 3 only after RIM! I wonder where Symbian is or if they are not part of Gartners research? At least for me, the Symbian's UIQ version (used by Sony Ericsson's P-series) is closer to a PDA then to the cell phone market while Nokia's Series 60 is for sure a mobile phone operating system and therefore it can not count here.
Cheers ~ Arne