Worldwide PDA shipments totaled 4.5 million units in the third quarter of 2006, a 31.9 per cent increase from the 3.4 million shipped in Q3 2005, according to the latest figures from Gartner.
However, the average selling price (ASP) of PDAs during Q3 declined 13 per cent from the same period last year to $351.
“An influx of new cellular PDAs which are subsidised to some degree by wireless carriers resulted in a significant drop in ASP and pushed the market to the highest shipment level in PDA market history,” said Todd Kort, principal analyst in Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide group. “An estimated 62 per cent of all PDAs shipped in the third quarter offered cellular connectivity, up from 49 per cent the same time last year."
RIM's BlackBerries remained the most popular PDAs, accounting for 21 per cent of worldwide PDA shipments in the quarter; however RIM only grew 10 per cent as it continued shifting its product mix toward smartphones.
Much of the growth during Q3 was generated by cellular PDAs such as T-Mobile's Sidekick 3 which is manufactured by Danger; Nokia's E61/E62 and Motorola's Q.
“The Sidekick has achieved near cult status as a wireless messaging device among the 15-to-25 age group in the U.S., which propelled it to nearly 300 per cent growth in the third quarter of 2006,” said Kort. “We have not seen the consumer marketplace gravitate toward a particular PDA model like this since Palm’s peak of popularity over five years ago. The trendiness of this device combined with substantial pent-up demand produced a rush to get on board with the new model.”
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