PDA shipments drop off in Q2

PDA shipments drop off in Q2

The number of handheld PDAs (personal digital assistants) shipped worldwide declined 9.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2002 compared with the same quarter last year, according to market researcher IDC.

About 2.6 million PDAs were shipped in the second quarter, down from just under 2.9 million in the same quarter last year, IDC said. Demand was soft in the second quarter because the economy in most regions is weak, said Weili Su, senior analyst in IDC's Smart Handheld Devices research service. In the second half of this year, worldwide market growth is expected to remain flat compared with last year.

IDC defines PDAs as pen-based and keypad-based handheld devices with features such as an address book and calendar. The definition excludes devices that combine voice telephony and traditional PDA features. Researchers counted shipments to distribution channels and direct to end users.

Palm held the largest share of the market in the second quarter with 32.2 per cent, up from 30.9 per cent in the second quarter last year, IDC's research showed. Second was Hewlett-Packard with 16.5 per cent and third was Sony with 10 per cent. Handspring with 6.5 per cent and China-based manufacturer Hi-Tech Wealth Electronic Product with 4.6 per cent were fourth and fifth, respectively.

The second quarter of this year marked the first time IDC counted shipments of HP and Compaq handheld devices together. HP's acquisition of Compaq moved it into the number two position among PDA vendors. Given the success of Compaq's iPaqs, Hewlett-Packard will continue to challenge Palm's top market position, IDC said.

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