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Smartphones Have Started to Impact PDA Sales
Most Future PDA Sales Increases Will Come from Smartphones

June 16, 2003-
The sales of traditional PDAs slowed or declined in the last two years. The soft economy was a major factor, but the growth of PDA-Phones or Smartphones is also a contributing factor. When Smartphones are included in PDA sales as shown in the table below, the worldwide PDA demand did not decline in 2002, but saw a small sales increase.

Most of the Smartphone demand has come in Europe and Smartphone sales is likely to top 50% of total PDAs in 2003. Strong growth is also expected in Asia and the USA.

The Symbian software platform is prevalent in Europe and leads the PDA-Phone/Smartphone segment. The cell phone manufacturers have the most extensive distribution channel network for Smartphones and this will favor Symbian-based devices in most regions. As the PC/PDA manufacturers get on the Smartphone bandwagon, Symbian will see stronger competition. However, for Pocket PC or Palm devices to challenge Symbian, some of the leading cell phone manufacturers and/or the cell phone operators must embrace the Pocket PC or Palm platforms.

  2001 2002 2003 2004 2006 2008
PDA Sales (#K) 15,336 15,714 18,946 23,854 38,320 58,509
PDA-Phone/Smartphone Portion (%) 4.3 10.8 20.6 29.3 39.3 45.0
PDA Sales (#K) 6,560 6,410 6,940 8,090 11,730 17,170
PDA-Phone/Smartphone Portion (%) 0.3 3.0 8.5 16.0 27.5 35.0
W. Europe            
PDA Sales (#K) 2,650 2,870 3,910 5,040 7,890 11,400
PDA-Phone/Smartphone Portion (%) 20.0 39.0 53.0 59.0 62.0 63.0

"The demand for PDA functionality has not decreased, but the type of mobile device the customer wants is changing", says Dr. Egil Juliussen, the author of the report. " This trend lowered traditional PDA sales in several regional markets in 2002, but Smartphones sales made up for the decline."

These are results from a new market research report by eTForecasts. The report explores the markets, technologies, computer platforms and product segments for PDAs including market estimates for six regions of the world from 1998 to 2008. eTForecasts publishes market research reports for the PC, PDA, information appliances and Internet industries.

  Updated June 16, 2003