Feeds

Record PDA shipments in Q2, claims researcher

Not quite so black and white...

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Global PDA shipments reached a record high in Q2, market watcher Gartner said today, but is it counting correctly. We don't dispute the company's numbers, but at what point does a smart phone become a PDA and vice versa?

Gartner's numbers - for what they're worth - include some BlackBerry devices, but not others. Shipments of the 71xx series haven't been tallied, for instance. Palm's Treo haven't either, but HP's Treo-like iPaq 60xx series and Nokia's BlackBerry-targeted E61 have been.

The researcher said it defines a PDA as a "data-centric handheld computer weighing less than 1lb [454g] that is primarily designed for use with both hands". Plenty of folk use older BlackBerries one-handed, and we'd argue that the keyboards on the Treo and iPaq work best when used for two-thumb typing.

All these gadgets can do voice telephony and - especially in Nokia's case - will be sold as much as phones as email retrievers. This is a crucial distinction, as Gartner's own numbers show.

Shipments of RIM's PDAs - according to Gartner - fell 1.1 per cent between Q2 2006 and Q2 2005. Palms were down a massive 26.7 per cent, a drop dwarfed only by Nokia's 40.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter shipments slip. HP's PDA sales were down 15.1 per cent.

Of the top five global vendors, only Mio managed to increase its shipments, by 65.4 per cent. It's now the number one PDA supplier in Europe, Gartner said. That's almost entirely due to its focus on GPS-oriented products for car navigation, a trend begun a few years back by Germany's Medion and which the name brands have largely failed to capitalise upon.

In order of volumes, the main PDA suppliers in Q2 were RIM (22.5 per cent of the market), Palm (12.7 per cent), HP (10.4 per cent), Mio (8.2 per cent) and Nokia (4.4 per cent). All the rest together accounted for 41.8 per cent of shipments. Quite a few of the 'others' will be HTC's tablet form-factor connected PDAs offered under a variety of brands. They all do telephony, and are sold as much as phones as data devices, by the way.

What can we conclude from Gartner's numbers? The traditional PDA is a dying breed, though it's demise is perhaps more protracted than some observers might have expected, largely thanks to the low-cost satellite navigation market. Ironically, the GPS arena is increasingly becoming the province of dedicated, navigation-specific devices, cheaper versions of the gadgets PDAs began to displace in the early to mid-2000s. Quite a few are derived from PDA technology and incorporate PDA functionality, but they're not sold as such and, we'd argue, shouldn't therefore count as such.

Devices that do voice and data, no matter how well suited (or not) to either role, should be counted as smart phones, not as PDAs. GPS-oriented PDAs will increasingly be squeezed out by GPS-specific devices. Bye-bye, pure-play PDA. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.