The PDA market has come out of the doldrums, according to Gartner, with worldwide shipments up by 32 per cent in the second quarter of 2005.
According to the analysts, worldwide PDA shipments totalled 3.6 million units in Q2 and are on track to reach 15 million units by the end of the year, compared to the previous high of 13.2 million units in 2001.
Research in Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry device topped the big five, with 23.2 per cent market share, followed by Palm with 17.8 per cent and Hewlett-Packard (HP) with 12.5 per cent. Nokia was fourth with 7.6 per cent. A surprise entry from T-Mobile with 5.9 per cent pushed Dell out the top five.
Roberta Cozza, principle analyst at Gartner, said: “Growth in Europe has been really strong. Europe has been less penetrated than the US and we think it will continue to grow.”
However, Gartner warned that RIM could face stiff competition over the coming year, as the likes of HP and Palm upgrade their product lines.
“We are also expecting look-alike devices based on a new operating system to appear in 2006, which will make the market more competitive.”
Cozza added the PDA market was lucrative for the channel. “There is demand in both the enterprise sector and the SME arena. It is still a young market and the technology is progressing very fast. We think it is going to be very profitable,” she said.
Steve Muttram, managing director of distributor Portable Add-ons agreed: “We are seeing growth in demand for PDAs used as connected devices converged with phones, whereas the use of traditional PDAs has declined. It is definitely a good space for resellers to get involved – it is expanding very fast,” he said.
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