Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Handheld PDA Market Slowly Dying

Well, this isn't exactly news. The PDA (Personal Digital Assistants, like Palms) are slowly being rolled into cell phones, creating a new category of that device called "smart phones". The functionality these PDAs and Smartphones provide is called Personal Information Management (PIM):
Due to intense competition from converged mobile devices that perform basic personal information management (PIM) tasks, the worldwide market for handheld devices saw its third successive quarter of year-over-year decline in Q3, according to the latest research from Framingham, Mass.-based IDC.
As with any market that is being cannibalized, consolidation has started and no-name brands are entering from the bottom:
Consolidation in the handheld device market continued with the exit of previous top vendors Sony and Toshiba while lower barriers to entry have enabled companies with established core competencies in electronics design and manufacturing to enter the market and quickly gain share, IDC pointed out, even though it comes at the expense of margins in the face of a flat or slightly shrinking market.
In the end this functionality will be carried by cellphones and this segment will become a niche market dominated by only a few low-cost players.

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