PDA Market Still Poised for Growth

Despite a weak US economy and a decline in 2002, research firm In-Stat/MDR is predicting growth for the PDA industry through 2007. 2003 may experience the largest expansion as manufacturers add new functionality and capabilities to handhelds.

According to high-tech market research firm, In-Stat/MDR, while the weak global economy, continuing erosion of US consumer confidence, and lack of corporate IT spending were the major contributors to lower handheld growth in 2002, lower unit prices, improved operating systems, and a wave of multimedia and wireless functionality being integrated into PDAs will spark growth this year.

Projected PDA ShipmentsPDAs are forecasted to have a healthy 18.3% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the 2002-2007 period, with the highest growth rate anticipated for 2003. ?Future growth will rely on convincing consumers that PDAs can be more than just PC peripherals,? says Cindy Wolf, an Analyst with In-Stat/MDR.

There are now three tiers of products: low-end, middle-range, and high-end devices and In-Stat/MDR expects most manufacturers to offer a range of devices in all three categories this year. Devices are clearly moving beyond the basic applications of Personal Information Management (PIM). An increase in multimedia functionality is expected this year, as other manufacturers move into this market to compete more directly with Sony. Manufacturers also appear to be decreasing their margins on devices in order offer products that will attract new users to the market.

In-Stat/MDR also found that:

  • The ability to access the Internet from a PDA is being increasingly integrated into these devices. About 15% of PDAs offered this functionality in 2002, and this percentage is expected to grow to 75% by 2007.
  • Processors are continuing their trend of integration and more competitors are expected to vie for a piece of the market. A variety of products offering on-chip memory, improved power consumption and support for greater functionality will become available.
  • The standard for memory slots for PDAs is continuing its trend toward Secure Digital (SD). In addition, flash memory card densities are reaching new, higher capacities, which will make multimedia and wireless functionality more useful.
  • Wireless and communications functionalities will increase this year on PDAs, especially on high-end devices. Users will have a choice of 802.11 and Bluetooth models for a variety of usage models, and a number of new devices will offer communications capability to help users reduce the number of devices that they need to carry.

The report, Multimedia and Wireless Functionality: Changing the Way Consumers Perceive PDAs (#IN030575ID), compiles research and analyses on the worldwide PDA market and provides a forecast of unit shipments and revenues from 2002 to 2007. Processor market shares and revenue and PDA unit shipment market shares, along with regional segmentation, are also depicted. The report provides profiles of major vendors and their most recent products, and discusses market trends, opportunities and hurdles. The report can be yours for $2,995 U.S. Dollars.

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three grand?

Pepper @ 2/27/2003 5:12:11 PM #
Eh, not too bad of a price for a comprehensive report. I don't know how comprehensive their research is, but if it covers enough it could save a firm a LOT of money!


I love my Palm . . . do you?

RE: three grand?
Nebrie @ 2/27/2003 5:19:32 PM #
It's priced that high because there's not a whole lot of people who want to buy such a report, even at $30.

RE: three grand?
Impartial @ 2/27/2003 6:01:58 PM #
And all that in only 53 pages! Wow! That's only, like, $60 per page!

You may imagine that this is a witty statement, if you like.

Don't believe the hype.

Gekko @ 2/27/2003 9:40:53 PM #
Never trust an ANAL-yst. You'll get more accurate predictions from a Magic 8-Ball or Ouija Board.

RE: Don't believe the hype.
kezza @ 2/28/2003 1:27:42 PM #
I agree. Nobody can accurately forecast anything 5 years into the future when consumer trends change as frequently and rapidly as they do now. maybe 20 years ago, but not now and certainly not in the future. besides, i actually disagree with some of their points. i've been talking with people who very recently have decided to buy PDAs, and when given the option to get a smartphone or something with PalmOS 5 and/or wireless internet, they passed on it. they said they'd rather just have something to put their calendar and contacts into. the most common thing i've heard from recent PDA buyers is "i already have a phone, why would I want one on my PDA?" a lot of these people still fit into the market that Palm was targeting with the Zire -- they don't even know about 3rd party apps, and basically just want a day planner. that's it. the number of people looking for advanced features like wireless internet and MP3 make up such a tiny portion of the PDA-buying public (and a positively microscopic portion of 1st-time buyers) that they couldn't possibly account for the kind of growth this analysis is predicting.

"Well, if it isn't the leader of the wiener patrol, boning up on his nerd lessons"

So, Did Anyone Tell Palm?

SuccessWizard @ 2/27/2003 10:22:16 PM #
Palm has just finished slashing 19% of their workforce with a round of folks getting their pink slips just today. According to an article on CNET, the 19% included the 18% of Palm Source people that were cut earlier in the year.


Mike Lohsl
Palm & Pocket PC Advisor


RE: So, Did Anyone Tell Palm?
i2oadi2unnei2 @ 2/28/2003 11:08:23 AM #
At this rate I better dig into my old storage and pull out my gameboy...hmm I wonder which box its in...

...|3eep |3eep!!...

RE: So, Did Anyone Tell Palm?
RhinoSteve @ 2/28/2003 11:31:17 AM #
This 19% cut was good housecleaning. They are doing fine.



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