PalmOS extends lead over WinCE – just

But Casio, for one, is growing much faster, claims US research

Palm Computing and its licensees continue to outsell Windows CE-based handheld providers, and by an even greater margin, if market research company NPD Intelect's latest snapshot of the US market is anything to go by. According to the numbers, the 3Com subsidiary took 77.9 per cent of the US PDA market this September, up from 75.4 per cent for the same period last year, an increase of three per cent. That said, it's not all bad news for CE. Casio's market share, for example, rose from 3.5 per cent in September 1998 to 9.5 per cent in September 1999, more than balancing the fall of 5.7 per cent to 3.4 per cent experienced by Hewlett-Packard. IBM, with its PalmOS-based PDA, also saw a its marketshare narrow, from 2.5 per cent to 2.3 per cent. Overall, $256.8 million worth of PDAs were sold in September, around 80 per cent of the overall handheld computing device market. Simple personal info databases garnered eight per cent of sales, and personal electronic organisers accounted for the remaining 12 per cent. There's clearly some cross-over here -- for many users there's little practical difference between an Palm PDA and a Sharp organiser, but it shows that the market is clearly favouring more expensive devices, possibly for their generally better synchronisation and Internet access facilities. Their more notepad-like form factor may also work in their favour. Taking all three categories into consideration, nearly 2.5 million devices were sold in the US, said NPD Intelect, an increase of 62 per cent year on year. Sales for the year should reach $450 million, the company added. ®

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