The worldwide market for handheld PDAs dropped for the fourth consecutive year in 2005, falling by 16.7 percent to 7.5 million units, down from 9.1 million in 2004, according to the research firm IDC.
For the fourth quarter, compared to the fourth quarter in 2004, sales dropped 18.2 percent to 2.2 million units; however, sales for the quarter surged above the previous quarter by 37.6 percent.
Although the PDA market has been derailed by the rise in shipments of converged mobile devices such as smartphones, IDC research analyst Ramon Llamas said vendors still remain committed to the PDA market. “New devices continue to come out from the market leaders, aimed at different user types and offered at different price points. With the addition of GPS solutions, multimedia capability and Wi-Fi connectivity, handhelds offer additional value beyond just PIM for the user.”
According to IDC, Palm maintained its position as the worldwide leader for the quarter with a market share of 45.6 percent. Its quarterly shipments declined 13.2 percent over the quarter a year earlier and increased 109.7 percent over the third quarter. HP’s market share was 20.8 percent, decreasing 33.1 percent year-over-year, marking the steepest year-over-year decline among the top vendors, said IDC.
Dell climbed up one slot to the No. 3 position in market share to 8 percent. Acer was the only vendor to see a year-over-year increase in quarterly shipments, with strong gains of 110.4 percent and a market share of 5.7 percent, said IDC.
Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide Handheld Device Shipments and Market Share, Q4 2005 (Preliminary)
Q4 2005 Shipments
Q4 2005 Market Share
Q4 2004 Shipments
Q4 2004 Market Share
Source: IDC Handheld QView, Feb. 2, 2006