STAMFORD, Conn., May 8, 2006 — Worldwide PDA shipments totaled 3.65 million units in the first quarter of 2006, a 6.6 percent increase from the first quarter of last year, according to Gartner, Inc. The results were slightly higher than Gartner’s previous shipment forecast of 3.4 million units for the quarter.
“The average selling price of PDAs fell 2.7 percent compared with one year ago to $395, mostly because of the lack of many new models entering the market in the quarter and commanding premium prices,” said Todd Kort, principal analyst in Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide group. Many wireless carriers are bypassing Enhanced Data for Global Evolution (EDGE) in favor of Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS), which along with a shortage of UMTS chips, is resulting in a slowdown in new cellular PDA launches.”
The industry’s growth rate was mainly attributed to Research In Motion’s (RIM) sales of BlackBerry units. RIM’s worldwide PDA shipments grew 30.8 percent in the first quarter of 2006 (see Table 1). RIM accounted for 25.5 percent of all PDA shipments in the quarter. RIM shipped approximately 1.45 million BlackBerry units in the first quarter, but 517,000 of these were BlackBerry 71xx models that Gartner classifies as smartphones.
Palm PDA shipments declined 25.2 percent, as its attention has shifted to Palm’s Treo smartphone business. Palm PDA shipments are at their lowest level since 1998. However, Treo shipments were 581,000, with an estimated 20 percent of these being the new Treo 700w. Treo shipments are recorded in Gartner’s quarterly smartphones report.
Notes: Totals do not include smartphones, such as the Treo 700w and BlackBerry 71xx, but include cellular PDAs, such as the iPAQ 65xx and Nokia E61. Source: Gartner Dataquest (May 2006)
Hewlett-Packard’s iPAQ shipments fell 29.9 percent in the first quarter. Gartner analysts said the long delay of the iPAQ 69xx series has hurt HP, especially with the iPAQ 65xx series still running Windows Mobile 2003.
Mio Technology has taken the lead in PDAs with integrated GPS capabilities and is faring especially well in Europe and Asia/Pacific. Mio Technology is on pace to sell more than 1 million such PDAs in 2006.
Dell Axim shipments declined 34 percent in the first quarter of 2006. The bulk of Dell’s sales were its flagship model X51v with a 624 MHz processor and 256MB flash read-only memory (ROM).
Microsoft’s Windows Mobile surpassed the 50 percent threshold for the first time in first quarter of 2006, with a share of 52.6 percent. RIM OS was second at 25.5 percent market share, followed by Palm OS at 13.4 percent, Symbian at 3.6 percent and Linux at 1.2 percent.
Gartner defines a PDA as a data-centric handheld computer weighing less than one pound that is primarily designed for use with both hands. These devices use an open market operating system supported by third-party applications that can be added into the device by end users. They offer instant on/off capability and synchronization of files with a PC. A PDA may offer WAN support for voice, but these are data-first, voice-second devices. Smartphones offer all the attributes of a PDA, except that smartphones are voice-centric and are designed for primarily a one-handed operation.
Additional information is available in the Gartner report “Dataquest Alert: Research In Motion Lifts PDA Market to 6.6 Percent Growth in 1Q06." The report is available on Gartner’s Web site.
These results are a sample of the results Gartner Dataquest is tracking with its new PDA and Smartphone Quarterly Statistics program. This program delivers combined quarterly shipment data for PDA and smartphones by vendor, region and operating system, with a combined annual forecast platform that is updated quarterly. This new product will help companies to better understand the competitive environment and market direction within the PDA and smartphone area in order to make better planning and business decisions.