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PDAs are go-go

Net access to fuel sales growth

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Fresh form factors, components and pricing models are set to jumpstart the quiet PDA market.

In-Stat/MDR forecasts handheld sales will move from mobile professionals to embrace mainstream consumer and corporate markets. The market research firm estimates annual growth in the PDA market of 17.6 per cent between 2001 and 2006, with the highest growth rate coming next year.

This growth will be fuelled by improvements in processors, memory densities, display technology, expansion ports, batteries, and operating systems. Increased support for multimedia and wireless communications technology is also increasing the attractiveness of PDAs. Approx. 19 per cent of PDAs will offer Internet access this year, with this percentage expected to grow to 70 per cent by 2006.

However, PDAs will face increasing competition from smartphones and other converged multimedia devices offering similar functionalities over the forecast period.

Palming Off

The battle for market share between Palm and Pocket PC devices will hot up after Palm introduces version 5.0 of its OS, according to In-Stat/MDR. It does not forecast the winner of this battle, instead suggesting that China will become a more important market for both camps.

A summary of In-Stat/MDR's report, The Worldwide PDA Market: The Next Generation of Mobile Computing can be found here. The full report costs $3,295. ®

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