Comments on: Research Reports PDA Penetration only 7% in USA

Jupiter Research forecasts that the U.S. installed base of handheld PDAs will number just over 14 million at the end of 2003 and will only grow to 20 million by 2008, a 7% penetration of the overall U.S. population. In addition, Jupiter Research reports that the adoption of these portable devices increases as their size and complexity of use decreases.
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abosco @ 1/6/2004 2:46:03 PM #
There's zero reason why these OEM's (and even PalmSource) shouldn't be on an advertising binge. OS 6 is a huge product, and if it actually delivers, it has enormous potential. People just don't know what capabilities these things have, and thus, they see them as all costing too much above a Sharp dayplanner.

NX80v + Wifi + BT + T616
RE: Advertise!
InsGuy @ 1/6/2004 3:00:21 PM #
I agree! ALL companies that sell PDA have done a TERRIBLE job of advertising their products and what they can do for people. Without exception, everyone person I know uses some form of a date book, address book, and a memo or note pad. When I come into contact with people and I need to retrieve info from my Zodiac 2, they are amazed that this little 'gizmo' will do all of the basic things they need, and 10,000 other things they never dreamed of. I am partial to Palm OS products, so the now 5 people I've convinced they need a PDA have chosen a Palm OS product, are always asking me 'Hey, did you know it does this or that?'. THIS IS THE JOB OF THE MANUFACTURERS!!!!

Oh well, I guess they let us sell their products 'by word of mouth', and call it a day.

"Saving the world, one Palm user at a time"

All good things...

RE: Advertise!
Verteron @ 1/6/2004 3:34:06 PM #
Word of mouth can do a lot too. I was the first out of my family and friends who really got in to PDAs, now they all have their Clies and their Tungstens just through seeing how damned useful the thing actually is (even compared to paper-based diaries). Seriously, PDAs are life-changing products for people who are completely disorganised (like me). Now I'm never late for a meeting...

RE: Advertise!
mikecane @ 1/6/2004 3:44:31 PM #
Bugger Word of Mouth.

I hate being someone's Help Line!

RE: Advertise!
Foo Fighter @ 1/6/2004 4:04:29 PM #
Well, maybe Mike's prediction that PalmOne resorts to infomercials will come true. Though I shudder at the thought of seeing Tungsten handhelds being marketed in front of a studio audience next to the Ronco Vegetable slicer, or George Foreman Grills.

My blog:
RE: Advertise!
Palmary @ 1/6/2004 4:18:37 PM #
While many people are amazed at how I can use a Palm to do 70% of my computing, it does NOT follow that an average consumer can, or wants to, use that versatility themself.

I gave a friend of mine a Zire for Christmas (yep, the original Zire) and she loves it. She has a masters degree and is a busy person, but she also does not enjoy or have any interest in computing. For her, gadgets are a bore.

But she has found that because she could learn the basic functions so quickly, she actually uses the Zire every day. However, there is no way she could (or wants to) learn how to do word processing, web browsing, wireless etc.

Market share will only take off when ORDINARY consumers (not the evangelists who read this site) can see good reason to change their personal habits and CARRY a computer with them. Hawkins was right - it's about people, not the computer.


RE: Advertise!
iJITSU @ 1/7/2004 2:20:05 AM #
Doesn't suprise me. The general population isn't going to buy into pdas. They HAVE however already bought into mobile phones. I believe smart mobile phones are the future. The number of people carrying cell phones eclipses that of those carrying pdas. Mobile phones are becoming more advanced each year and the high end phones can handle many tasks that pdas are used for. One device- small, color screen, long battery life, voice communication, robust PIM, office functions, multimedia, email, real web access....ahhh, mobile nirvana.

RE: Advertise!
Miss Clie @ 1/7/2004 9:53:48 AM #
iJITSU is right. It's almost too late in the game for the PDA market to start touting how cool their stuff is, because the cell phone market has already given a lot of this to folks and it has a bigger foothold. *Everybody* HAS to have a cell phone in the '2000s!

Every yahoo has PIM capabilities on their cell phones which will evolve to rival PDAs (some already do). Then, while the target users will finally be capable of using these utilities, they sure won't need them in a standalone PDA anymore.

My SO has a crappy large old Nokia phone, but the alarms, calculator, and phone list are all he cares about where PIMs are concerned. And he already has them right there. Plus some lame games.

I often show interested people in the grocery store my shopping apps, or my checkbook app, and tell them the list of things my PDA can do. They seem intrigued, but none of them thinks they 'have the time' to use a PDA. If only they knew of the time they'd save! But in reality, they'd need someone else to set up their apps in order to gain that saved time, because they just wouldn't do it on their own.

RE: Advertise!
Ezra4no1 @ 1/11/2004 2:26:06 PM #
I agree that advertising is important in the PDA community. Word of mouth is nice for a movie, but when it comes to a complex device like Palms.. it needs to be advertised so the general public can have an idea of just how powerful these things are and can help with your every day needs.

I personally consider myself a "power user" of the Palm PDA. I use it for everything and it has completely replaced my Dayplanner that I used to carry for almost 10 years some years back. I spent time learning about Palm and going out of my to find software for the palm to do the things that I want it to do. But most people that I have come accross that have a Palm don't even know you can add software to it and don't know where to go to get the software. Most people never use their Palm beyond the Simply PIM functions it comes with. This is where Palm needs to let the public know what else it can do.

But this is just my 2 cents worth.

RE: Advertise!
atrizzah @ 1/12/2004 3:18:17 AM #
I disagree with most of you. I think there's plenty of room for the lowend Zire's for the general public. The public is shown that they are willing to carry increasing numbers of electronics on their person, such as cell phones and cameras. I think most people understand what a PDA can do in theory, but what they need is the simplest, easiest to use PDA they can find. Most people don't want to install new apps on their PDA's or even hotsync them. They just what something that they can turn on, and immediately it's useful. That's why the Zire's are such great sellers.

I don't think smartphones will ever catch on strongly, either. People want small phones with only a couple bells and whistles. Most people I know go through a few phones a year. These things are in conflict with what a good PDA should be. The features of a PDA and a phone simply just don't overlap that much. Most of the people I know who actually use their phones as PDA's own the more "PDA with a phone in it" kind of devices, like the Kyocera's and stuff.

Peace Out

Smartphones are where the growth is

Gekko @ 1/7/2004 1:11:03 PM #
I'm not sure if this is all possible, and I hope I;m not restating the obvious, but if I ran PalmSource I would bet the ranch and gamble big by:

1. Focus on creating a PalmOS "Phone Edition" which would be the best damn Phone OS on the market. The general public out there will buy a PalmOS smart phone - they will not en masse buy just a PDA. Businesses want dual-functionality as well. The Smartphone is where all the growth is.
2. Giving Nokia, Motorola, and DoCoMo, and the other 2 of the top 5 handset makers DIRT CHEAP ($19/unit) licensing for the next 3 years. Flood the market and become the standard. Short-term pain for long-term gain.
3. Going lean and mean and fire all the non-essential fat within PalmSource (Sorry Michael M.) so they can do #2 and still be somewhat profitable. Cut all expenses! Yes, there is still a lot of fat over there. Keep the few necessary programmers, hire a few good sales guys to schmooze the hardware makers and have at it!



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