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Pocket PC PDAs to Surpass Palm OS PDAs in 2005

Buffalo Grove IL, December 12, 2001-
PDA growth rate has been very strong since 1996. The worldwide PDA market surpassed a significant milestone in 2000—unit sales of over 10M. However, the recession in the USA has slowed the PDA growth rate in 2001. The recession is likely to spread across the world in 2002, which will keep the PDA growth rate well below the 1999-2000 increases. Despite slower future growth rates in the 20-30% range, the PDA industry will have another milestone—PDA worldwide sales exceeding 50M units in 2006.

Palm currently has the leading PDA operating system, but it will see increasing competition from Windows CE/Pocket PC, Symbian Epoc and from Linux. Pocket PC has become a formidable competitor and is gaining market share. The future winner depends on how the PDA market evolves. The more capability future PDAs need, the better the Pocket PC stack up against Palm devices. If Phone-PDAs take off, Epoc-based products are likely to further erode Palm’s position.

Worldwide PDA Unit Sales 2000 2001 2003 2005 2007
Win CE-Pocket PC (#K) 2,225 4,205 9,005 15,960 24,355
Palm OS PDAs (#K) 6,695 7,595 11,250 14,035 16,395
Other OS PDAs (#K) 3,350 4,575 8,235 13,530 20,620
Worldwide PDAs (#K) 12,175 16,375 28,490 43,525 61,370
USA PDA Unit Sales 2000 2001 2003 2005 2007
Win CE-Pocket PC (#K) 815 1,430 3,125 5,565 8,445
Palm OS PDAs (#K) 4,365 4,780 6,785 8,390 9,710
Other OS PDAs (#K) 360 430 860 1,725 2,955
USA PDAs (#K) 5,540 6,640 10,770 15,680 21,110

“The Palm OS lead is being challenged by Pocket PC devices and the likely future success by Symbian-based Phone-PDAs”, says Dr. Egil Juliussen, the author of the report. “Palm OS PDAs should retain its lead in the USA, but Palm-based PDAs do not have enough strength outside the U.S. to remain in the worldwide lead past 2005”.

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

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

  Updated December 12, 2001