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Pocket PC PDAs To Surpass Palm OS PDAs in 2004

Buffalo Grove IL, September 9, 2002-
PDA growth rates slowed substantially in 2001 - from 80% in 2000 to 30% in 2001, with U.S. growth dropping below 10%. PDA growth rates in 2002 will slow further as the U.S. recession impacts other regions. Growth rates in 2003 will pick up, but it will be 2004 until PDA growth tops 20%. Worldwide PDA sales may exceed 60M units in 2008.

Palm has been the leading PDA platform the last five years, but it is seeing increasing competition from Pocket PC, Symbian and Linux. With current trends Palm will lose its worldwide lead in 2004, but will retain U.S. leadership until 2008. The long-term winner depends on which of the major PC, electronics and cell phone manufacturers adopt which PDA platform. Sony is the only major company that is supporting Palm and Sony's success is primarily in the U.S. Palm sorely needs additional allies in international markets such as China and Europe.

Worldwide Unit Sales 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008
Win CE-Pocket (#K) 2,390 5,630 9,820 17,150 27,180
Palm OS PDAs (#K) 6,635 7,080 8,580 11,480 14,655
Other OS PDAs (#K) 2,715 4,055 6,795 11,965 19,150
Worldwide PDAs (#K) 11,740 16,765 25,195 40,595 60,985
USA Unit Sales          
Win CE-Pocket (#K) 880 1,745 2,910 5,090 7,860
Palm OS PDAs (#K) 4,710 4,630 5,175 6,600 7,980
Other OS PDAs (#K) 390 505 1,070 2,225 3,800
Worldwide PDAs (#K) 5,980 6,880 9,155 13,195 19,640

"The Palm OS lead is evaporating because the major PC companies are adopting the Pocket PC platform and Palm is running out of major companies that have the worldwide marketing clout to reverse this trend", says Dr. Egil Juliussen, the author of the report. "Palm will need several major electronics companies to adopt the Palm OS in the next year to have any chance of retaining its lead".

More information is available in "Worldwide PDA Markets", a market research report by eTForecasts. The report explores technology trends, product segments, software platforms and PDA market opportunities.

eTForecasts publishes market research reports for the PC, PDA, information appliances and Internet industries.

  Updated September 9, 2002