Press Release

STAMFORD, Conn., February 6, 2007 View All Press Releases

Gartner Says Worldwide PDA Shipments Top 17.7 Million in 2006

Mobile data access, particularly wireless e-mail, drove the worldwide PDA market to record shipments of 17.7 million units in 2006, an 18.4 percent increase from 2005, according to Gartner, Inc.

“60 percent of all PDAs shipped in 2006 offered cellular connectivity, up from 47 percent in 2005,” said Todd Kort, principal analyst in Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide group. “Forty-eight percent of all PDAs shipped in 2006 were purchased by enterprises. This was about the same percentage as one year ago due to the strong sales to consumers and prosumers of devices, such as the Sidekick 3, Mio Technology GPS devices and the Motorola Q.”

Research In Motion continued to lead the PDA market, but its product mix has been rapidly shifting toward smartphones following the September launch of the BlackBerry Pearl. RIM shipped more than 1.8 million BlackBerry devices in the fourth quarter of 2006, with an estimated 915,000 considered to be PDAs (the 87xx) and the remainder being smartphones. RIM's PDA growth slowed to 10 percent to 3,510,927 units out of a total of about 6.2 million BlackBerry devices shipped in 2006 (see Table 1).

Table 1
Worldwide: Preliminary PDA Vendor Shipment Estimates, 2006 (Units)

Company

2006

Shipments

2006 Market Share (%)

2005

Shipments

2005 Market Share (%)

2005- 2006 Growth (%)

Research In Motion

3,510,927

19.8

3,193,000

21.3

10.0

Palm

1,970,031

11.1

2,773,025

18.5

-29.0

HP

1,721,531

9.7

2,267,178

15.1

-24.1

Mio Technology

1,515,496

8.5

714,528

4.8

112.1

Sharp

1,428,318

8.0

536,540

3.6

166.2

Others

7,596,989

42.8

5,497,869

36.7

38.2

Total

17,743,292

100.0

14,982,140

100.0

18.4

Note: Excludes smartphones, such as Treo 750 and BlackBerry 81xx, but includes cellular PDAs such as BlackBerry 87xx.
Source: Gartner Dataquest (January 2007)

Palm’s PDA shipments declined 29 percent in 2006 as the company continued to focus on the smartphone market with its Treo product. Hewlett-Packard is another vendor experiencing declining fortunes in the PDA market. HP shipped 2.3 million PDAs in 2006, accounting for 9.7 percent of all PDAs. The one bright spot for HP was that its flagship models, the iPAQ 68xx and 69xx devices, comprised about one-third of HP’s total shipments.

Sharp ranked fifth in 2006 with 1,438,218 million PDAs shipped. Approximately 1.1 million of these were the Sidekick, primarily marketed by T-Mobile. However, Sharp's Linux PDAs fared poorly, with fewer than 30,000 shipped in 2006.

Microsoft Windows Mobile devices tend be more enterprise-oriented than devices based on other platforms (with the exception of the RIM BlackBerry). However, in the more consumer-oriented fourth quarter, Windows Mobile achieved its highest sales ever with PDA OS shipments exceeding 3.5 million compared with 2.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2005. This strong quarter helped Windows Mobile to solidify its stronghold on the market with 56.1 percent market share for the full year. In 2006, shipments of Windows Mobile PDAs grew 38.8 percent to just under 10 million (see Table 2).

Table 2
Worldwide: Preliminary PDA Vendor Shipment Estimates by Operating System, 2006 (Units)

Company

2006

Shipments

2006 Market Share (%)

2005

Shipments

2005 Market Share (%)

2005- 2006 Growth (%)

Windows CE

9,954,082

56.1

7,173,005

47.9

38.8

Research In Motion

3,510,927

19.8

3,193,000

21.3

10.0

Palm OS

2,074,765

11.7

2,960,795

19.8

-29.9

Symbian

950,100

5.4

1,010,000

6.7

-5.9

Linux

152,680

0.9

112,740

0.8

35.4

Others

1,100,738

6.2

532,600

3.6

106.7

Total

17,743,292

100.0

14,982,140

100.0

18.4

Note: Excludes smartphones, such as Treo 750 and BlackBerry 81xx, but includes cellular PDAs such as BlackBerry 87xx.
Source: Gartner Dataquest (January 2007)

Gartner Dataquest defines a PDA as a data-centric handheld computer weighing less than 1 pound that is primarily designed for use with both hands. These devices use an open-market OS 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. Examples include the RIM BlackBerry 8707v, HP iPAQ 69xx, Nokia E61, Motorola Q, T-Mobile Dash and Sidekick 3.

Smartphones offer all the attributes of a PDA, except that smartphones are voice-centric with data access as a secondary capability, and are designed for primarily one-handed operation. Examples include the Palm Treo 750v, RIM BlackBerry Pearl, Orange SPV C700, Nokia E60 and Sony Ericsson P990i.

Additional information is available in the Gartner report “Dataquest Alert: Worldwide PDA Shipments Grew 18.4% in 2006.” The report is available on Gartner’s Web site at www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?ref=g_search&id=500705&subref=simplesearch.

 

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