Lack of New Devices Contributes to Handheld Declines

The worldwide market for handheld devices continued along its downward path during the third quarter of 2006. According to IDC's Worldwide Handheld QView, total worldwide shipments of handheld devices fell to 1.1 million units, down 15.4% from the previous quarter and down 31.3% from the same quarter one year ago. This quarter constitutes the eleventh consecutive quarter of year-on-year decline for the worldwide handheld market.

"Contributing significantly to the decrease in shipments this quarter was a lack of new devices being announced or shipped to the market," said Ramon Llamas, research analyst for IDC's Mobile Markets team. "Vendors continue to rely on models that have been on the market anywhere between two and four quarters. Without many new devices on the market in the third quarter, it brings into question how shipments will total during the fourth quarter when vendors typically expect a boost in shipments as a result of new devices coming to market."

The absence of new models does not necessarily mean the end of the handheld market, however. "There are users who remain fiercely loyal to their handheld devices, and smaller niche users have emerged," Llamas added. "For example, in some developing markets, the handheld device has been tremendously important in self-education, enabling users to continue learning outside the classroom once they have downloaded content through the PC. If usage for specific non-network tasks like self-education increase, we could expect an increase in shipments and possibly new devices that are optimized for particular tasks."

Top Five Handheld Device Vendor Highlights

  • Palm Palm remains the overall market leader, but was not immune from seeing its shipments drop year over year. After releasing both the Palm Z22 and the TX nearly a year ago, the company has yet to refresh its portfolio with a new device.
  • HP HP remains the clear number two vendor in the handheld device market and the largest Microsoft Pocket PC-enabled handheld device vendor, with more than double the shipments of the next two vendors behind it. Of the leading vendors, however, HP suffered the largest year-on-year decline in shipments.
  • Dell Dell finished the quarter in a tie with Mio for third place. The company has finished phasing out some of the older models from its portfolio and is concentrating on developing the Axim X51 platform with faster processors and more memory.
  • Mio Having established itself as the number four vendor last quarter, Taiwan-based Mio took another step forward by tying with Dell for the number three position worldwide. Mio bucked the trend of declining year-on-year shipment levels by posting a 5.0% increase from one year ago. The company will face further competition from Dell for the number three position, but easily outpaces the next vendor, Sharp.
  • Sharp Returning to the top 5 is Japanese vendor Sharp, which enjoyed the largest gain in year-on-year shipments. Several vendors follow closely behind Sharp, however, with fewer than 20,000 units separating it from the likes of ASUSTeK, Acer, and Fujitsu/Siemens.


3Q06 Unit Shipments

3Q06 Market Share

3Q05 Unit Shipments

3Q05 Market Share

3Q06/3Q05 Growth

1. Palm






2. HP






3. Dell






3. Mio






5. Sharp


















Source: IDC Worldwide Handheld QView, November 8, 2006

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Handheld Declines Contributes to Lack of New Devices

Gekko @ 11/9/2006 7:24:04 PM # Q

the chicken came before the egg, silly.

RE: Handheld Declines Contributes to Lack of New Devices
AdamaDBrown @ 11/9/2006 7:29:01 PM # Q
Actually, no. Sales didn't start to decline until new research and development was cut. Palm sales didn't tank until the T5, for instance. HP's sales didn't pull their nosedive until they killed the HTC designs for their own uglier, lower-specced family of replacements.

Reply to this comment

Sharp's sales grow 207.7%

pmjoe @ 11/9/2006 8:06:00 PM # Q
No big surprise. The only PDA with a modern OS sees significant growth. Where's PalmLinux when we need it?

We will probably reach the same point with mobile phones soon too. At some point, developers get limited by the limits of these hackish so-called "operating systems" available on current mobile devices (along with the difficulties in writing portable apps for all the different platforms).

RE: Sharp's sales grow 207.7%
legodude522 @ 11/10/2006 11:53:50 AM # Q
Sharp is making WindowsMobile smartphones now.

Palm m125 > Palm Zire 71 > Tapwave Zodiac 1 > Palm Zire 72 > Sharp Zaurus SL-C1000
Reply to this comment

The death of handhelds was a self-fulfilling prophecy

The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/9/2006 10:15:20 PM # Q
"Contributing significantly to the decrease in shipments this quarter was a lack of new devices being announced or shipped to the market," said Ramon Llamas, research analyst for IDC's Mobile Markets team.

No duh.

And in other news, IDC released another report stating the world is round.

If a 3 year old CLIE TH55 is leagues better than any PalmOS PDA available in 2006 (now almost 2007!), why would any current user bother to buy a new Palm? Longtime users buy PDAs to upgrade their hardware with more features or a more capable OS. Palm is offering only DOWNGRADES (crap hardware, buggy OS) at this point in time and is poised to dump the PalmOS PDA market in 2007. Pathetic. What a waste of a great platform.

It would be easy to blame the death of PalmOS on PalmSource, but in reality it's the greed and corporate gamesmanship of Benhamou et. al. that triggered Palm's demise.


RE: The death of handhelds was a self-fulfilling prophecy
hkklife @ 11/9/2006 11:48:02 PM # Q
It ain't getting any prettier. Symbol has announced they are canning their final few Palm OS-based ruggedized handhelds. Fortunately we have Janam on board but they are a small startup with an unproved track record. Like 'em or not you cannot dispute that you STILL see POS Symbol units everywhere, whether it's in the industrial sector, retail, concert venues, UPS & DHL deliverymen etc etc.

Just tonight my ticket was zapped at the door by a lady wielding a battered but functional Symbol OS3-era Palm device.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: The death of handhelds was a self-fulfilling prophecy
twrock @ 11/10/2006 3:11:10 AM # Q
Ok, admittedly I'm not a CEO of some large corporation manufacturing mobile devices, but I gotta think that continuing to provide an upgrade path for at least two levels of PDAs would be "worth it" to Palm. Yes, they are probably going to sell a lot more "converged" devices, but a potential total of over a million PDA units has got to have some value for the company. I'd think that Palm can still make money on PDAs. Why in the world would you throw away a profitable product? Why would you "let" any competition build up momentum and market share? Why wouldn't you want your name synonymous with every form of mobile computing? I'd think you'd even be willing to keep this market alive at a loss if it meant that you gained the "mindshare" of more consumers who most likely would upgrade to one of your profitable devices later.

Hey, that's just me. What do I know? But nothing anyone has said to the contrary has convince me otherwise.

OTOH, I'd probably make the switch to a converged device if Palm (or someone using the Palm OS) made a phone with the screen of a TX. The small square screen on the Treo's just isn't what I'm after. Neither is the integrated keyboard. Basically, put a cell radio in the TX and I'm there.

I'm still waiting for the mythical color HandEra.

RE: The death of handhelds was a self-fulfilling prophecy
twrock @ 11/10/2006 4:17:19 AM # Q
...put a cell radio in the TX....

Hmmm, come to think of it, maybe that's the way to get Palm to put the mic we should have had all along into the TX.

I'm still waiting for the mythical color HandEra.

Reply to this comment

Maybe if Palm made the PDAs people actually want

sremick @ 11/10/2006 12:59:35 AM # Q
I've said for a while that Palm is shooting itself in the foot by producing the units they want to sell versus the models that the customers are actually asking for. Then they see sales drop, assume PDAs are dying, and pull back even further. A self-feeding cycle.

Take a look at the T3. One of the most popular Palm models of all time, and considered by most to still be the pinnacle of Palm development. Yet the T3 has been discontinued a long time now, and there's never been a true successor. How sad is that? Any T3 owner can hand Palm exactly what they need to do on a silver platter, no research necessary. Palm has been handed the recipe to redeem itself... so why don't they act on it?

Here it is again, Palm, since you still aren't listening:

400+ MHz CPU
320x480 OLED screen
non-slider design
SD slot with support for 2+GB cards
1200+ mAh user-replacable Lithium-Polymer battery
charge/alert LED
Vibrate alert
built-in mic
voice memo button
headphone jack
Speaker on the FRONT
metal case (for durability and style)
Hotsync cradle included

This thing would fly off the shelves. Palm fans all around the world would rejoice and be snagging them up as fast as Palm could make them. Faith in Palm would be restored, and there would once again be that "ultimate" model that everyone longed for, that had everything. The sweet executive top-of-the-line PDA. And based on the specs of the TX, Palm could easily be profitable selling them at $399.

How many more used T3s do I need to scrounge up off the internet to replace my existing T3 before Palm actually makes another decent device in this category?

RE: Maybe if Palm made the PDAs people actually want
dagwud @ 11/10/2006 10:56:58 AM # Q
This would be why I'm considering replacing my M515 with an ebayed T3. I don't like the slider, but I like the missing features of the TX even less.

PalmPilot Pro (1997) -> III (1998) -> Vx (1999) -> m500 (2001) -> m515 (2002) -> ???
Or a Tungsten C replacement...
JonAcheson @ 11/10/2006 11:54:25 AM # Q
The Tungsten C's main claims to fame were keyboard and wifi.

My dream replacement would be in a UX50-style clamshell device, with a good Palm/Treo keyboard, and wifi, and lots of battery.

If they really wanted to cinch the deal, they could put in two SD slots, and a wide screen.

And of course, fix the mono-only headphone jack that prevented me from buying a C in the first place.

"All opinions posted are my own, and not those of my employers, who are appalled."

RE: Maybe if Palm made the PDAs people actually want
hkklife @ 11/10/2006 4:58:44 PM # Q
OS 5.x cannot support more than 128mb RAM. OLED screens are still too expensive and short-lived, especially for a conservative company like Palm.

Here's a realistic variant of the device you describe:

-412mhz Xscale (or comparable) CPU
-128mb RAM
-1gb internal flash storage drive ala T5
-320*480 Sony-sourced TFT LCD
-non-slider design
-Bluetooth 1.2 w/ A2DP & CDMA DUN functionality
-SD slot with FAT32 driver
-1800mAh user-replacable li-poly battery, 2500mAh batt. optional
-charge/alert LED
-Vibrate alert
-built-in mic
-voice memo button & screen rotate button
-headphone jack with good quality amp/shielding
-speaker on the front
-plastic case is ok if price becomes an issue. Metal is preferred though
-Cradle included is preferred but not an essential

I'd figure on a $350ish ($400 tops) price for a model like I describe above. The important thing to take into consideration is to take the UNSUBSUDIZED full retail, no contract price of all smartphones and compare it side by side with PDA MSRPs. That $299 Treo suddenly becomes $600+ when you don't have the shackles of a 2-year contract tied to it. Of course, that 2-year contract with Verizon will end up costing you $1320 for data alone ( that doesn't include any text messages either) on top of the Treo's purchase price. Smartphone are a VERY, VERY expensive proposition.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Maybe if Palm made the PDAs people actually want
freakout @ 11/10/2006 6:48:53 PM # Q
^^ Unlocked GSM all the way, hk. My 650 was too expensive by far, but it's still on a par with the sum of its parts. Consider:

(all in AUD)
Treo 650: $949
4GB SD Card: $90 (ebay)
Stereo adapter: anywhere from $1 on ebay to $20 for the good ones
[B]Total:[/B] $1039

Now, if I were to have bought separate devices to replicate all the Treo's functionality:

Cheap Unlocked GSM mobile phone: 'bout $150
30GB iPod: $380. We can't use a nano here because it doesn't do video.
PDA with wireless for GPS/net access, etc (Bluetooth, WiFi): Well, the TX is the cheapest... at $499 AUD.
[B]Total:[/B] $1029

The PDA is way too big for me to carry around in a pocket on a daily basis, especially if I'm trying fit a phone in there as well, which is why I threw in the separate media player. The convenience of an all-in-one device like the Treo is just too good for me to ever want to buy a non-converged device again.

I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

Reply to this comment

Stuck in a time vortex?

Ezra4no1 @ 11/10/2006 4:15:16 AM # Q
Ok.. stone me for what I am about to say.. but just remember that sometimes the truth just hurts.

I can honestly say that there are few people more than myself that would of given anything to have seen non-converged PDA devices continue to grow. Ever played Doom3? Do you recall how the PDA was very much a part of the games world of every day use. More or less that is what I had hoped PDA would amount too. Anyone remember Carl Yankowski and his vision of wireless PDAs? The man was before his time. His visions didn't include wireless Carriers dictating how PDAs should be used, but a society that would of embraced Bluetooth and WiFi, where our data could be accessed, received, and sent from almost anywhere through our PDAs. He even envisioned how our PDAs would or could be come our Digital Wallets, passports, IDs and everything else. That when we would go shopping our PDAs could communicate with POS devices and make the transaction for us. When we would walk into a hotel our devices would register us in right at the entrance without the need of going to the desk, and so on, and so on, and the best part of it all of his visions was that all of this was happening from out handhelds, not from a wireless carrier controlled converged device where we are required to pay monthly fees to just use our devices. But none of that happened, (because of the ipod sucked all the attention away from PDAs, and because Palm Inc,the WORLD known and number 1 handheld maker (with the exception of some crap company that sold cheap PDAs only to china) kept screwing around with buying companies, Building a new corporate headquarters Ė than realizing they were too broke to finish the project, splitting, selling, changing their names, new logos, getting fighting with the company which than made their only OS, have too much dang pride to go with their new OS when it was available, re-changing their name, and crap like that which took away from what they should of been doing which was making sure there PDAs maintained the number 1 selling device in the entire world As someone mentioned, anything mobile computing should have been a Palm, but wasnít.

Honestly I am surprised that Palm has any presence at all today, and it's only because of the Treo (and the Windows Mobile at that) which is still branding Palm in new markets and giving them any kind of rand recognition any more.

Come on people, wake up... Despite what you think.. The Palm OS is dead.. not because it isn't any good (though it is showing itís age very badly), but because Palm has already given up on it. Say good bye to the Palm OS and to stand alone PDAs. You might as well go out and by an 8-track player or better yet a MiniDisc. Donít be the last person on the titanic, 200 feet under water believing that everyis going to be alright.

Palm for linux will be way too little and way too late to make any difference. Sure die hard Palm users will rejoice and snap up the new devices, but much like the Newton Hippies of the late 90's and Novell, they were the only ones who hadn't yet realized that the market had long past them.

As much as I HATE Converged devices, they are where it's all at. And truth be told, once you get over the fact that they are expensive and you are spending $65 bucks plus a month, they really are pretty freaking cool, and youíll be left wondering how you ever lived with out one before.

RE: Stuck in a time vortex?
sremick @ 11/10/2006 9:12:50 AM # Q
I hate converged devices. I have checked them out. I could never deal with them. They are too big as a cell phone, and too small as a PDA. I'm used to a large 320x480 touchscreen for a PDA without half the device real estate taken up by a klunky micro-keyboard I neither like nor will use. I prefer having my cell phone be a small-as-possible device I carry around all the time, and can loan out without giving someone my life. My PDA needs to be bigger than something I'm willing to walk around held up to my ear, that I only bring with me when I need to since it's a much more-critical aspect of my life.

I have a Motorola V635 and a Palm T3. I will continue to live without a converged device, because I simply could not function with one. I'd be miserable with a bulky ugly unwieldy phone that looks ridiculous held up to my head, and an undersized, underpowered PDA.

RE: Stuck in a time vortex?
freakout @ 11/10/2006 7:54:01 PM # Q
^^ You obviously don't use SMS very much. Dunno about the rest of the world, but in Australia and Asia in general text messaging is [B]huge[/B]. The Treo is the best messaging device on the market bar none, in large part due to the full QWERTY keyboard on it. The other part is a very robust yet simple to use messaging app.

I think Palm's right when they say the Treo is "just the right size". Okay, so it could be a bit thinner, but they've definitely hit the smartphone sweet spot in terms of height and width. Pretty much every preview of the new models says they feel very nice in your hand.

The Treo ain't for PDA power users. It's for people who expect better from their phone, something they have to use and carry with them almost every single day.

(Cue the "But the Treo SUCKS as a phone" chorus...)

I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650

RE: Stuck in a time vortex?
SeldomVisitor @ 11/11/2006 7:23:31 AM # Q
> ...The other part is a very robust yet simple to use messaging app...

Ya haven't heard about THIS


yet, eh?


Reply to this comment

When I read the title of this thread

theog @ 11/10/2006 6:19:01 AM # Q
my first thought was "No Shit."

My second thought was "You don't say."

Then I thought "Why is this on the first page? This is OLD news!" lol

Vote for John Kerry... best man for the job.

Reply to this comment

PDAs are a DEAD Market

Gekko @ 11/10/2006 7:24:58 AM # Q


RE: PDAs are a DEAD Market
zinzan @ 11/10/2006 7:56:29 AM # Q
Gekko, you're a dick.

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate"

RE: PDAs are a DEAD Market
retrospooty @ 11/10/2006 8:07:48 AM # Q
"Gekko, you're a dick."

Perhaps... but in this case he is correct. There is no market for any high end PDA with all of the features desribed above. It would flop hard in hte market. Maybe sell 100k devices to the various PDA nerds that are clammoring for some foothold on a future they had been waiting for but will never come. It just isn't worth it to develop a product that does not have enough sellability. The whole R&D would basically be to satisfy the angry forum dwellers, no money there. Also note: ALL major PDA manufacturures left, not just Palm. Do you seriously think tehy all left because they DONT want to make profit? Of course not. The profit is no longer there, and PDA's are dead, now move on.

RE: PDAs are a DEAD Market
sremick @ 11/10/2006 10:13:57 AM # Q

If that was true, then no one would be complaining about the lack of PDA models out.

The market is considered "dead" because the manufacturers decided to kill it. The need never went away. We're still living our lives as before... when PDAs were introduced, they filled a need, and became popular. Just because the manufacturers are trying to meet that same need with different devices that don't do as good a job at it doesn't mean the need has gone away. The need persists, and PDAs fit it better than anything currently introduced. Just because you CAN converge something doesn't make it a good idea. If so, there'd be no more spoons or forks anymore, and everyone would be using sporks. Do they? Of course not. A spork is only a semi-good spoon and a semi-good fork. And a smartphone is a semi-good phone and a semi-good PDA. Not awesome at either task, nowhere near what a dedicated device can do.

I walk around, and everyone I see has a standalone phone. I might see one Treo-type device a month, if I'm lucky. I actually see a few dozen people a month using PDAs. So if it were true that smartphones were better and everyone who wants a PDA is getting a smartphone, why isn't that reflected in the real market? Obviously they aren't even "good enough" to get lazy users to just go alone. Like the spork.

Truth of it is, there's no PDA market because Palm et al decided to nix it. If your way of determining the existence of a market is to see how sales go, you need to create the device for that market first. The market isn't being catered to and is blindly being labeled "dead". It's not dead, it's attempted murder though.

RE: PDAs are a DEAD Market
radleyp @ 11/10/2006 11:03:49 AM # Q
I don't know where you live, but here in Manhattan you would observe a very different scene: lots of smartphones (especially Treos, Blackberries, and the Q) and lots of razr's, but far fewer PDA's.

I bought my first Palm in 1996, when the Pilot first appeared, and continued using Palms up to the T/X, while also carrying a Moto flip phone: when my wife, a few months ago, bought me a Q, I was sure I would wind up using it as a phone replacement and continue to carry my T/X. But that's not what has happened. My T/X stays home where I use it primarily as a reader. I carry just the Q, as it does enough of the PDA stuff for my daily needs, and it is an excellent phone (BTW, in a pinch and for downtime moments it works as a reader). I think Gekko and others are right: the PDA market is dying or dead, not because the manufacturers killed it, but because the public (like me) has found a more convenient substitute.

Incidentally, those who complain about putting a smartphone to their ear should buy - as I have - a bluetooth headset. It works fine.

RE: PDAs are a DEAD Market
dagwud @ 11/10/2006 11:15:21 AM # Q

I don't. My dad doesn't. My uncle doesn't. My wife doesn't. My aunt doesn't. Of that list, I'm the only one "participating" in this forum.

Speak less in absolutes, and you'll look less like a clueless idiot.

PalmPilot Pro (1997) -> III (1998) -> Vx (1999) -> m500 (2001) -> m515 (2002) -> ???

RE: PDAs are a DEAD Market
Eternal_Visitor @ 11/10/2006 11:39:43 AM # Q
what about low end PDAs? you know...the Z22? Palm has a deathgrip on this market and I can't see how a converged device will EVER be able to break into it. (most people getting a Z22 probably don't want any of what makes a smartphone worth the money)

RE: PDAs are a DEAD Market
Ezra4no1 @ 11/10/2006 5:05:10 PM # Q

I don't. My dad doesn't. My uncle doesn't. My wife doesn't. My aunt doesn't. Of that list, I'm the only one "participating" in this forum.

Speak less in absolutes, and you'll look less like a clueless idiot."

Cute... Unfortantely, your nice little family circle isn't near everyone.

Try asking everyone over at and if everyone that needs pdas features by far preferers a smartphone. Though it might not be everyone, but I'll bet you'll get so many affirmatives that you'll conclude to the same as what has already been expressed.

RE: PDAs are a DEAD Market
dagwud @ 11/10/2006 6:03:53 PM # Q
@Ezra4no1: When did I say that my family was "nearly everyone"? I was pointing out that Gekko's absolute statement didn't hold water. That, and the fact that he tends to be repetitive.

As for your survey suggestion, talk about stacking the deck. Asking people at a website for smartphone users about their preference is like asking delegates to the Republican National Convention whether or not they want a Democrat in the White House.

I have no doubt that the majority of people who are buying PDA type devices prefer smartphones. These are, in many respects, the same type of people who got a Palm and only used the built-in applications. It makes sense that they'd want a singluar unit.

But I also have no doubt that Palm has helped to kill their PDA market. There's more than one reason I've not upgraded in several years.

PalmPilot Pro (1997) -> III (1998) -> Vx (1999) -> m500 (2001) -> m515 (2002) -> ???

RE: PDAs are a DEAD Market
JKingGrim @ 11/10/2006 7:48:50 PM # Q
Try asking everyone over at and if everyone that needs pdas features by far preferers a smartphone.

He he he. I just had to laugh at that point. Ask everyone at PDA PHONE HOME if they prefer a pda or a pda-phone. Hmmmm. While you're at it, ask everyone at the Republican national convention which party is better. He he.

Anyway. There is a good argument both ways. I used to say that not everyone wants to converge. But after having a cell phone then converging, I couldnt imagine not being converged. PDA-phones really do get the job done for power users. I think smartphones have killed the high end market. Even though the best PDA phone does not match the power of the best pdas, those willing to pay that much for a pda are probably the ones more likely to converge. I think the only market left for pdas is the low end. Those folks who just need an organization tool. Mainly because pdaphones are still so high priced. I doubt those here who are clammoring for it will see many more uber-pdas, especially not from palm.

Palm BUTCHERED the standalone PDA market. By design?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/10/2006 11:01:06 PM # Q
also have no doubt that Palm has helped to kill their PDA market.

Palm has a LOT of reasons to prefer that its customers switch from traditional PDAs to smartphones. Their decision to kill off PDAs was simply an attempt to squeeze more $$$ out of diehard PalmOS supporters. Pity. The backlash will be felt when pi$$ed off users simply dump PalmOS and switch en masse to Windows Mobile devices and just run StyleTap Platform for the few apps they can't get natively on Windows Mobile. It's amazing that Palm seems to still be oblivious to the fact that there is NOTHING special about its hardware.


RE: PDAs are a DEAD Market
Ezra4no1 @ 11/11/2006 2:09:50 AM # Q
"As for your survey suggestion, talk about stacking the deck. Asking people at a website for smartphone users about their preference is like asking delegates to the Republican National Convention whether or not they want a Democrat in the White House."

Well no offense, but listing you and your family members as evidence that converged devices are not every where is pretty much, umm how did you put it? Oh ya, it's like asking delegates to the Republican National Convention whether or not they want a Democrat in the White House.

Glad we finally saw eye to eye on this =)

Converged Devices
SeldomVisitor @ 11/11/2006 7:19:30 AM # Q
In the deep distant past, HAND/PLMO/PALM said a "converged device" was a single device that did everything.

A year or two ago they radically changed that view and started saying a "converged device" was "collaborating devices" instead.

We haven't seen any collaborating devices out of PALM.

Maybe soon?

If so, I'd expect a phone to be a phone.

And a PDA to be a PDA.


RE: PDAs are a DEAD Market
dagwud @ 11/11/2006 9:34:06 AM # Q
@Ezra4no1: No offense taken. But I never said that my list of family members was evidence that converged devices aren't everywhere.

I said that my list of family members is evidence that not everyone who wants PDA features prefers a smartphone. I made no claims about my family being representative of the handheld market. There are other people I know who don't like smartphones, but they don't make my sample any more representative.

This isn't comparable to surveying an obviously biased population and then ignoring that bias to justify a conclusion.

PalmPilot Pro (1997) -> III (1998) -> Vx (1999) -> m500 (2001) -> m515 (2002) -> ???

RE: PDAs are a DEAD Market
atrizzah @ 11/12/2006 8:08:18 PM # Q
I don't think PDA's are a dead market. I think the smartphone has had its day in the sun, bolstered by the fact that people loving having sweeter and sweeter phones to show off. But you can't just keep making phones better and better. Unlike with PDA's, there's other forces that tend to make people want the opposite.

Eventually, you're phone becomes too big and too expensive to truly be portable. You don't want to bring your $500 brick with you when you go jogging, like you might with a Nokia 3600. You can already see the struggle right now with the market split between RAZR's and SLVR's on one side, and cumbersome slider and fold out designs on the other.

I think if PDA manufacturers ever got their act together, people would still buy PDA's, and phones will simply be communications devices. Then your phone becomes smaller, more portable, and more interchangeable. Your PDA can use your phone's connectivity via wireless, nullifying the smartphone's main advantage. I can even see a world where phones have a standard interface to external devices, allowing dialing from the PDA, Internet connectivity, voice recording through the phone to the PDA, etc.

Palm makes phones. Palm makes PDA's. If they wanted to, they could start the revolution. But that's bloody unlikely since they've shown dogged determination these past 5 or so years NOT to innovate.

Instead Palm keeps "proving" to itself that no one wants PDA's by creating PDA's that no one wants.

Peace Out

RE: PDAs are a DEAD Market
SeldomVisitor @ 11/13/2006 5:51:53 AM # Q
Reply to this comment

Am I missing something here?

Frank Wilkinson @ 11/10/2006 10:01:50 AM # Q
So in one quarter 1.1 million PDAs have been sold, which equates to about 5 million a year if one takes in the Christmas business, which will be much larger than other quarters.

The market may be down but it's certainly not dead and remember, these figures are in a period when there has been no new Palm model for ages.

There are many industries that would salivate at the thought of 5 million sales a year.

Frank Wilkinson U.K.

RE: Am I missing something here?
Ezra4no1 @ 11/10/2006 5:17:17 PM # Q
You're right, I'm sure Palm could still salvage that marget, but at what cost? Down sizing? Cutting back the Treo line that is actually making the company money?

The company I work for spends $36 million dollars a month in operating costs, and that's not even making a profit. How much do you think Palm spends? More?? Less?? Palm doesn't have deep pockets like Microsoft to invest in a technology and wait years for it to mature or in this case bounce back. It's much easier to pick apples (even if they have fallen) than wait for them to grow. In this case, Palm needs to stick where the money is and do everything they can to keep the Treo line on top and selling strong, through lot's of R&D, advertisement where appropreate, strong sales channels and so on. You will be more likey to see a new Treo model before you will see a standalone device, because tomorrow Motorola, or even research in motion (both companies which dwarfs Palm in available cash to spend)can introduce a new product and kill the treo, at which point Palm would go bankrupt or be sold to a company that will promise to keep the Palm family alive, but than fades away.

Let's stop apologizing for Palm's greed and incompetence
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/10/2006 11:10:54 PM # Q
It's much easier to pick apples (even if they have fallen) than wait for them to grow. In this case, Palm needs to stick where the money is and do everything they can to keep the Treo line on top and selling strong, through lot's of R&D, advertisement where appropreate, strong sales channels and so on.

The only problem with that (traditionl Palm Apologist) excuse is that it would not take a lot of effort (or R&D money OR even hardware budget) to upgrade Palm's current designs into what would be MUCH better devices, yet Palm has steadfastly refused to do so, year after year.

We need to stop making excuses for the abuser.


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OK, the trad PDA market is dead -- don't mourn, innovate!

YojimboE @ 11/10/2006 10:11:14 AM # Q
This thread seems to be spinning its wheels around the chicken-and-egg question of whether lack of interest in stand-alone PDAs killed the market, or Palm et al. killed it by leaping at smartphones like rabid dogs and ignoring any possibilities left in the PDA market.

Yes, it's true that the traditional PDA niche has been hit upside the head by the double combo of smartphones, with less functionality but more portability and communications options, on one hand; and by the PMP (iPod) on the other.

Does this mean no one wants a PDA anymore? Anyone who draws this conclusion isn't thinking hard enough. Computer technology never sits still, and markets are made by supplying consumers with something they didn't know they wanted until they see it -- viz., the iPod.

Build a traditional PDA that offers iPod-equal music and video playback and purchasing options, and many Apple haters and Msoft haters (last time I checked, that's a pretty big group) would go for it.

Build a full-sized PDA with a cell phone integrated, and some would ditch their Treos for it -- yes, this would cut into Treo sales, but Palm would still be palming the profits, so why not give customers more choice?

Build a UMPC form factor device with Palm ease of use, instant-on and battery life, and Microsoft would be sh*&#%g bricks.

I think it's pretty clear none of these options are going to appear from Palm. I'm just waiting for someone else to take up the challenge and run with it.

Professional Amateur

RE: OK, the trad PDA market is dead -- don't mourn, innovate!
jez27 @ 11/10/2006 8:45:58 PM # Q
> Build a full-sized PDA with a cell phone integrated, and some
> would ditch their Treos for it.

I'd ditch my Palm TX for it. It's the lack of this option (on the Palm platform) that leaves me using a Palm TX plus mobile. I'm PDA-centric - it is far more important to me than the mobile, so I want a decent size screen and stylus input. The Treo simply doesn't cut it with me because it has a much smaller screen, plus I hate the ugly look of all those keys.

I know I'm not the only person, because Windows mobiles with true PDA form factor (like the i-mate) have done well.

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Tungsten Models

temporal @ 11/10/2006 10:44:08 AM # Q

I don't know why palm have not released a new model yet! And i don't know why the new models like the TX have not been a real sucessor of popular model's like the T3. I would love a new palm with the same look and size of any Tungten T1, T2 or T3..

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