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PDA shipment slide continued through Q3

Ray of light at the low end?

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While the world's mobile professionals continue to buy fewer PDAs than they have in the past, the low-end of the market continues to show some strength, market watcher IDC said yesterday.

Worldwide PDA shipments fell 16.7 per cent between Q3 2005 and Q3 2004, IDC's numbers show, with the most recently completed calendar quarter's shipments totalling just under 1.7m units. Shipments were down 8.5 per cent on Q2 2005's total, IDC said.

Palm remained the market leader - its products accounted for 33.8 per cent of the units shipped during the period - but shipments were down 22.7 per cent year on year and 10.8 per cent on the previous quarter.

The market's number two, HP, managed a sequential increase in shipments of 4.4 per cent, but was down 35.4 per cent year on year. It took 23.6 per cent of the market, IDC said.

Fourth-placed Dell was down too, by 13.9 per cent year on year and 9.6 per cent sequentially. Like Palm and HP, it has primarily targeted traditional executive PDA buyers.

However, Acer, in third place, and Mio, in fifth, both saw year-on-year gains, up 421 per cent and 58 per cent, respectively. Both have built a solid user base at the low end of the market, in the main by targeting consumers seeking low-cost GPS satellite navigation bundles. They have also benefited from other players' departures from the market.

Like HP, Acer saw a small, 5.3 per cent sequential gain, but Mio's shipments were down 22.6 per cent on the previous quarter.

Acer, Dell and Mio took 11.2 per cent, 9.6 per cent and 5.1 per cent, respectively, of the market in Q3. Other vendors together accounted for 16.8 per cent of the market.

Looking to the current quarter, IDC said it expects shipments to rise above Q3 levels for most vendors but still be below last year's numbers. ®

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