Sony Takes 10% of U.S. Retail Market

Palm Inc. still has the lion's share of the U.S. retail market with approximately 50%, according to NDP Intelect as quoted by Cnet. While still a dominant position, this is a lower percentage than the company has enjoyed in the past. Near the end of last year, Palm had over 70% of the market.

Palm's loss is its licensee's gain. In recent weeks, Handspring share of the retail market has been hovering 20% and 30%, which is a better showing than they have made in the past.

Sony, who in the past few months has been moving aggressively into the U.S. retail market, has seen its share rise from just 3% to approximately 10% on the strength of the three handheld models it has released in recent months.

The remaining share of the market is taken up by Pocket PC models and other, proprietary operating systems.

One of the main reasons Palm and Handspring have continued their lock on retail sales is the popularity of their low-end models. For example, only 20% of Palm's unit sales are for the m500 series, its high-end models. This seems to show that, in retail anyway, customers are cost conscious and a large majority aren't willing to spring for a higher-priced model.

Handspring has working to shore up its share of the market by cutting its prices. Last month, Handspring dropped the prices on almost its entire range of models.

Related Information:

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Wow, that's a significant share

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 11:37:29 AM #
considering that the new Clie's has only been out for a few months. Sony is like that second coming of Handspring.

PocketPC marketshare?

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 11:48:36 AM #
PocketPC seems to gaining major ground on Palm, but how much? Why isn't Ed posting the share owned by PPC? Come on Ed, give us the info.

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 11:56:49 AM #
Ha! Ed's afraid to post anything regarding PocketPC. He doesn't want his readers to know PocketPC is kicking the Palm platform's ass! The PalmGuru seems to know what's happening though.

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 12:07:38 PM #
I guess all pocketpc news should be done on the or something. I'd rather not hear of pocketpc news here.

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 12:10:17 PM #
i agree. all discussions here are really 'Palm OS' focused and that has made this site really popular. putting pocketpc stuff here will be a disaster.

thanks ed. keep it up.

Do the math
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 12:11:45 PM #
If Palm is holding 50%, Sony 10%, and Handspring 30%, then everyone else put together -- including all forms of PocketPC -- only have 10%. Even if you take the lowest end of Handspring numbers, the remainder is only 20%.

Hardly a swell of support for PocketPC, especially considering that the number includes a lot of non-PocketPC machines.

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 12:15:07 PM #
No I don't mean Ed should post PocketPC news here, but he should post the market share figures for those devices just as he did for HS, Palm, and SONY. Making comments like..."The remaining market share went to PocketPC" isn't very informative. What exactly was the "remaining share". It must be considerable for Ed to gloss over the issue like he did.

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 12:19:41 PM #
Where is Ed getting this info, and how old is it? NPD doesn't have any info on its site. Can you provide a link Ed?

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 12:20:32 PM #
You can read the journal. The point is that despite the journalistic hype PocketPC has not gained much share. In fact depending on the time period they have lost share. PocketPC devices are fine on the high-end but they have no chance in the middle and the low-end which will be the biggest markets as always. The journal sales estimated 16% (unit) share for PPC. If you look at IDC and Gartner, they have predicted the demise of Palm for years. They are still in different markets.

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 12:45:32 PM #
"I guess all pocketpc news should be done on the or something. I'd rather not hear of pocketpc news here."

"I'd rather be ignorant, and I'd rather die as the ignorant".

Open your eyes. Palm is no comparison to PocketPC. Sure if you want to spend $100 on low-end PDA, go ahead, get m100. But if you're spending $300 for any Palm PDA, your ignorance will not serve you any good.

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 12:52:47 PM #
I think the translation would be more like "I came here to read news on palm pda's, so thats what I want to see, If I wanted news on pocket pc's, I'd go to sites that offer news on them"

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
AriB @ 9/7/2001 12:54:44 PM #
would you cut it out already? He's just telling you what the NPD link says-which has nothing on ppc

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 1:05:36 PM #
Hey, I just want the whole truth, and nothing more. I'm not interested in EDited marketshare data. :-)

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 1:49:32 PM #
People who craft such finely thought out sentences as "But if you're spending $300 for any Palm PDA, your ignorance will not serve you any good." should certainly be considered as experts -- on ignorance.

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 2:03:20 PM #
I tend to agree that spending more than $300 on a PalmOS device is rather stupid when you consider that the more expensive models have no more features than the low-end models. Do you consider that enlightenment?

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
stonemirror @ 9/7/2001 7:16:12 PM #
Some anonymous troll writes

doesn't want his readers to know PocketPC is kicking the Palm platform's ass!

Interesting take on the situation. Let's see: All the PocketPC manufacturers on the planet, added up together, command no more than 20% of the PDA market share. Handspring, all by itself, has between 20 and 30%.

Someone's getting their collective asses kicked, but it doesn't seem to be Palm.

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
Deslock @ 9/7/2001 10:27:08 PM #
> But if you're spending $300 for any Palm PDA, your ignorance will not serve you any good.

What an ignorant thing to write... Sure, some high-end Palms are over-priced, but not all. The Clie N610C is a damn good buy. For $320 (street price), you get:

- 320x320, 16-bit screen
- bright backlighting... image is excellent under all lighting conditions
- expansion slot
- small and lightweight (5.6 oz)
- excellent battery life
- form factor that makes one-handed operation comfortable
- thoughtful details like a cradle power supply that can be used as portable charger and a well designed cover

> Ha! Ed's afraid to post anything regarding PocketPC. He doesn't want his readers to know PocketPC is kicking the Palm platform's ass!

That's FUD. PocketPC is doing well (finally), but Palm is still outselling it. It doesn't really matter... both platforms have strengths and weaknesses. Figure out your needs and choose accordingly. Immature, whiny, exaggeratory posts like yours are useless (whether they come from CE zealots or Palm fanatics).

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/8/2001 10:03:10 PM #
$320 street price? Quit pulling numbers out of your ass.

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
mikecane @ 9/9/2001 12:49:03 PM #
Perhaps he means Net price.

At any rate, I think this entire Palm vs PPC debate is being driven by a slice of current Palm owners who have been waiting to upgrade and are undecided about what their next step will be: Palm again or a leap (of faith?) to PPC?

My Palm is half-dead. About two weeks ago, it took a plunge out of my shirt pocket -- unlike past times, this time the screen cracked. It is now equivalent to a Casio Pocket Viewer. I can read what's in it, but I can't add to it. And the screen is so badly cracked, only parts of it work.

Obviously, I need a new machine. Will I go with a CLIE? Or how about the Toshiba GENIO? Or maybe that new HP 56x? None of these choices existed at the start of this year. We Palm owners could ignore the iPaqers, just based on size arguments alone.

But now there's a PPC that is no larger than a Palm III. And now there's also a Palm (CLIE) that is smaller than a Palm III (yes, I know the Vs were around -- but I loathed those). Great color screens. Very appealing form factors. Both (GENIO and CLIE) more powerful than past Palm devices.

I think many other people are struggling with a similar decision. Hence the heightened debate recently.

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/9/2001 2:59:54 PM #
Mikecane may be onto something. I love my Palm M505, but I to am beginning to have serious doubts as to whether my next PDA will be a PalmOS device or not. And I don't think I'm alone. I don't think the Palm platform is dead, but I do think its begining to lose steam. Plus, with the current state the economy is in, Palm may implode right before our eyes!

Congratulations! is available.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/9/2001 3:11:59 PM #
Congratulations! is available.

It's all yours, Ed!

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/9/2001 3:15:21 PM #
It's a zombie. it's dead but doesn't know it yet.

Dead Man Walkin'!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/9/2001 3:32:40 PM #

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
mikecane @ 9/9/2001 4:16:33 PM #
What marvelous little proto-Hitler Youths there are here! Anything that does not have PalmOS praise in it, anything that even hints at other possibilities, brings out the jack-booted pimpleheads to Sieg Heil their allegiance to their current brand of PDA. Goebells is laughing in his rotting grave -- and yet you guys probably think you uphold freedom and the American Way.

Uh...Please don't be so melodramatic.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/9/2001 5:04:28 PM #

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
mikecane @ 9/9/2001 5:12:23 PM #
If you can bother to scribble GG, why not go the whole hog and register?

RE: PocketPC marketshare?
Deslock @ 9/10/2001 2:40:31 PM #
> $320 street price? Quit pulling numbers out of your ass.

That's what I paid at (it was on sale).

> Perhaps he means Net price.

I use the terms interchangeably (most people I know consider street price and net price to be the same). However, to be more specific, I paid $320 "net price".

On a related topic, I went to dinner Saturday night with a large group of people (mostly programmers) who were friends of a friend (so I only knew a few of them).

I pulled my Clie N610C out of my pocket to write down a phone number and they were all mucho impressed. As it turns out, some of them owned IPAQs (purchased by their companies), but none of them had their IPAQ with them because they said they're too bulky to carry around. They loved holding the Clie and said it was significantly smaller then the IPAQ (even without the exapnsion sleeve).

I've used the IPAQ too and don't think it's *that much* larger than the Clie, but for some people it's bigger enough to make the difference between carrying it in your pocket or leaving it at home (obviously, other people don't mind carrying a larger unit).

So, dimensions and weight don't tell the whole story... despite being only 1/2 oz lighter, the Clie's shape is much more ergonomic than the IPAQ and the Clie fits in a pocket a lot more comfortably.

Anyway, like I wrote, both platforms have advantages and disadvantages... figure out your needs and choose what's appropriate. Enough of this silly holy war.

which months

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 11:51:41 AM #
These data are for which time period ?


I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 12:35:22 PM #
Ed, your data is slightly off. Palm does not have an even 50% share. It's more like 43-46%. Somewhere in there. Not a big deal, but still not 50.

RE: Wrong?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 12:49:28 PM #
How do you know?

More accurate data here:

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 12:39:49 PM #
According to this, PocketPC has closer to 20% of the US retail maket:

RE: More accurate data here:
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 12:45:55 PM #
Forbes is just quoting IDC, another research firm. How do you know they are more accurate than NPD?


I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 12:40:36 PM #
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 1:08:38 PM #

"Right now the game is Palm's to lose. Combine all the devices that use the Palm operating system together, including Handspring's (nasdaq: HAND - news - people) Visor line and Sony's (nyse: SNE - news - people) Clie, among others, and you're talking about 69% of the worldwide handheld market, compared to 17% for PocketPC, according to market research firm IDC, Framingham, Mass"

Smaug @ 9/7/2001 6:58:30 PM #
Umm thats worldwide not US which this is

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 10:44:00 PM #
Hey, its a global marketplace. PPC is still losing. Clie N710C nearly outsold IPAQ in its short life span. Face it..people use Windows all of the time at their desks. Its nice to have something different to look at that doesn't crash every 6 seconds.

I ain't rich. . .

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 1:02:57 PM #
This goes to show that contrary to many folks who post on this site, the “typical” user isn’t totally concerned with a lot of bells and whistles and more importantly, isn’t willing or able to spend $500 on what to most people is a day planner/PDA, NOT a handheld computer. Sure, everyone would like color, mp3-capability, etc., etc., etc., but only at a certain price point. I really think Palm’s biggest error was abandoning the mid-range market by pulling the IIIxe and not providing a suitable replacement. Sony on the other hand, seems to have the entire range covered with the Clie – from a relatively “cheap” base model, a mid-range “step up” model, to a top-of-line, full-blown PC Pocket fighter. Palm for the better half of this year only had the “goofy-looking” m100 series or the “car note” priced m500’s. A new Pocket PC is coming out priced at about $650. Yeah, right. Let’s see, pay the house note or buy a PDA. No brainer. Include a lifetime warranty, theft and damage protection and unlimited replacements when new OS’s comes out and MAYBE I can swing it. Here’s what I want in a PDA:

Relatively low cost (i.e., under $300, closer to $200)
Durability like a cell phone
Light weight
“Reasonable” good looks

RE: I ain't rich. . .
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/7/2001 1:30:57 PM #
Amen to that.

Sorry, but my IIIx still functions, does all I need it to, has plenty of expansion options (tons of after-market add-ons), etc. Why should I upgrade? In a year or so, when color, high-res and the advantages of the memory slots shake out, then perhaps I might just buy a new one. Until then... no chance.

The IIIx I have has served me well for the past 2+ years.

RE: I ain't rich. . .
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/8/2001 1:02:08 PM #
I paid $265 including tax for a Kyocera Qcp 6035 at at OfficeMax.. plus I got a $100 mail in rebate.

Business Users Pay For Performance
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/9/2001 10:26:15 PM #
I know an ex-fanatical-Palm Vx-er who now swears by his iPaq. Reason is he uses it for business purposes and money is not really an issue since he is the GM. He showed me the iPaq and what wins me too is that the email attachments like Word docs get transfered automatically amd can be opened on the device itself without messing with 3rd party apps add-ons. Now that is cool. I just want a device that works, and works out of the box. Period. I am still using my trusty Palm Vx now, but perhaps by the end of the year I shall review the whole situation again. My friend is thinking of switching his whole organisation to iPaq. Being a business owner myself I must say I am also tempted to switch once my Palms are fully depreciated.

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