Worldwide shipments of PDAs and smartphones combined totalled 42.1 million units in the first half of 2006, a 57 per cent increase on the same period last year.
Nokia took top spot in the vendor ranks with a 42 per cent share of the combined PDA and smartphone market. Research In Motion (RIM) accounted for 6.5 per cent of the market, while Motorola took a 5.3 per cent share and Palm grabbed a five per cent slice.
Gartner predicted smartphone shipments will reach 81 million units in 2006, and the PDA market will top 16 million units.
However, Tod Kort, principal analyst at Gartner, said: “PDA sales have slowed and smartphones have not been growing as quickly as expected, so we have lowered our year-end forecasts.
“People use their smartphones in the same way as normal phones and are not using all the features and applications. Many are buying smartphones for fashion rather than function.”
Kort said new smartphones which do not have a broad range of functions, but look aesthetically pleasing, will continue to sell.
“PDAs and smartphones are supplied by large resellers, but they are mostly sold through carriers,” Kort added. “We expect growth to stay at the same level or accelerate as vendors bring the prices down to a lower range.”
Pierre Lams, co-founder of VAR Handheld PCs, said: “We enable smartphone and PDAs, and we have been keeping busy. If Gartner is saying the market is slowing down a bit that maybe the case, but we are not experiencing this.”
Lams added that Handheld PCs’s Nokia business has expanded and taken business away from RIM.
>> Further reading:
The deal builds on distie's earlier promise to distribute a broader range of electrical goods
Services firm sees revenue increase 23 per cent
Execs Zak Virdi and Neil Lomax open up on the rationale behind acquisition
CEO Steve Brazier slams vendor titans at annual event in Barcelona