I have got to disagree with the statement from Tom’s Hardware that the PDA is an endangered species. Yes, they are being replaced by ‘all in one devices’ now a days.s But personally, I like my cell to be my cell. If I loose it, I really do not want all of my personal data in there. As for my PDA, my needs are few and that is why I am perfectly happy with my devices as they are, forget this integration trend.
Analysts believe that handheld computing is in the midst of one of its most dramatic changes since this product category was created. 2005 is considered to continue the trend of connected PDAs with phone capability and push “unconnected” devices – PDAs with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but without an integrated cell phone – into niche markets.
PalmOne, the quasi inventor of the handheld as we know it today, still earns most of its money with handhelds that do not integratee cell phones. The firm is most apparent to suffer from a trend towards the need of a cellphone in PDAs. According to sales results published by research firm Gartner, shipments in the third quarter of this year dropped 13 percent to 749,000, down from 864,000 last year. At the top of its growth, Palm shipped more than 2.1 million PDAs in the second quarter of 2000. In the same time frame of 2004, the company sold about 913,000 devices.
“There always will be a market for the unconnected PDA,” says Alex Slawsby, an analyst for research firm IDC. “But today’s real drivers of growth in this segment are mobile phones, smartphones and converged devices.”