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Global PDA production slows down

Component shortages to blame?

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The momentum behind the PDA market appears to be slowing, according to the latest data from Japan's Nikkei Market Access.

Last year, some six million PDAs were produced, twice the number knocked out during 1998. However, Nikkei's estimates for 2000, while still higher than 1999's figures, show reduced growth. Nikkei reckons 10.7 million PDAs will roll off production lines this year, a year-on-year increase of just 78 per cent.

Still, 10.7 million palmtops is still a heck of a lot of devices, and given the component supply problems noted earlier this year by Palm, the production numbers could easily fall below end user demand for these devices.

Nikkei's numbers show Palm leading the market with 3.25 million PalmOS-based units produced during 1999 - 53.7 per cent of the market. Some 1.73 million Windows CE-based machines were built (28.5 per cent) alongside 537,000 EPOC-based devices (8.9 per cent).

The PalmOS' share of the market is likely to increase throughout 2000, thanks to Handspring's popular Visor and Sony's upcoming Palm-based PDA. Retail figures for 2000 show the PalmOS' market share up in the 80-90 per cent range, though how that will translate to production share remains to be seen. ®

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