One More Time: The PDA Market Is Meaningless To Measure

from the please-stop-now dept

For years, we've been complaining about all these ridiculous studies that moan about how the "PDA" (personal digital assistant) market is shrinking, yet they keep on coming. The fact is that the market isn't shrinking at all -- it's just changing as PDAs are built into smartphones. Back when the internet was first catching on and people who had originally bought PCs were suddenly upgrading to PCs with modems, we didn't hear people bemoaning the death of PCs. Instead, people realized that an internet-connected PC was simply a natural upgrade in the market. The same is true with PDAs turning into smartphones.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 4:55pm

    "people who had originally bought PCs were suddenly upgrading to PCs with modems, we didn't hear people bemoaning the death of PCs. Instead, people realized that an internet-connected PC was simply a natural upgrade in the market. "

    Yeah, but the general middle-class population buying new cars which have "iPod Compatible" interfaces are still not considered a natural upgrade... just an added "feature".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Nick (profile), Nov 13th, 2007 @ 5:12pm

    The end of the horse-and-buggy marked the decline of personal transportation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Jim, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 5:50pm

    Meaningful

    "The market isnt shrinking"

    What? The market is shrinking. The article clearly differentiates between smartphones and PDAs. Thus, the market study is only about PDAs without cellphone ability. To complete you analogy when PCs with modems came out -- the market for PCs without modems shrank.

    Your confusion probably comes from thinking there is no market for PDAs without cellphone ability. However, i would bet there are plenty of specific uses for such a device.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    duane, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 6:41pm

    To me, a PDA is not connected to any network by definition. It is simply your personal repository of information. Therefore, the PDA market is shrinking.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Chuck, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 7:57pm

    PDA Definition

    Taken from Wikipedia:
    "Personal digital assistants (PDAs) are handheld computers, but have become much more versatile over the years. PDAs are also known as pocket computers or palmtop computers. PDAs have many uses: calculation, use as a clock and calendar, accessing the Internet, sending and receiving E-mails, video recording, typewriting and word processing, use as an address book, making and writing on spreadsheets, scanning bar codes, use as a radio or stereo, playing computer games, recording survey responses, and Global Positioning System (GPS). Newer PDAs also have both color screens and audio capabilities, enabling them to be used as mobile phones (smartphones), web browsers, or portable media players. Many PDAs can access the Internet, intranets or extranets via Wi-Fi, or Wireless Wide-Area Networks (WWANs). Many PDAs employ touch screen technology."

    I have a PPC phone, and I consider it a PDA.

    Duane: By your definition, a car with auto parallel parking is not a car, because it doesn't require someone to drive it for part of the time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    dorpass, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 9:03pm

    Re: "by definition"

    Ummm, so the article argues that the definition is wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    phil, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 9:53pm

    Re: PDA definition

    Duane: So are you saying a Palm with WiFi isn't a PDA??? What are you talking about? I use the WiFi in my PDA to bring my portable store of information up-to-date almost every day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    boomhauer (profile), Nov 13th, 2007 @ 9:58pm

    they are but..

    im certain the regular ol pda market is shrinking overall. but the industrial uses for pda's has been pretty strong, this is what my company deals in. I dont know anyone who has bought a straight-up PDA in ages (remember the dell axim?) but our sales of industrial pda's has been growing significantly, as this is a niche application that proved to acutally be useful.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Shohat, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 10:49pm

    Use to have PDAs. Back to paper

    Used to have Casiopea, and afterwards some HP PDA.

    Two years ago I stopped using, and went back to using a normal journal. It's practical, doesn't break down or run out of batteries, doesn't crash, and I don't look like an idiot every time I need to write something down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Magihunter, Nov 13th, 2007 @ 10:49pm

    Car = automobile?

    "By your definition, a car with auto parallel parking is not a car, because it doesn't require someone to drive it for part of the time."

    Are you talking about automobiles? Because I thought that a self steering device would by definition make it MORE of an automobile.

    Let's all nitpick everything the world ever. That's what the internet is for, right? The point is: PDA + phone = smart phone = good. PDA = why bother?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Nick, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 2:14am

    I want them separate...

    Well, the next phone I get will be just a phone - I want something that will ONLY make calls, not something that tries to jam a PC into into something the size of a bar of chocolate. I have a better separate camera, a better separate MP3 player, a better separate radio, all much easier to use. MUCH easier.
    The PDA problem is a price one, and I am twitching to get myself an ASUS eee... Is that a PC, a mobile PC, A smart phone without phone functions, a handheld, and ultra portable laptop, a media player?
    Who cares...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Ed Imbier, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 7:42am

    A phone and wireless PDA can be best as separate d

    Some may find a phone, wifi device, and PDA together, a handy device. But a phone needs to be a voice communication device with an address book and maybe a calendar/todo list. That takes care of most daily functions. In that way it is tiny and only needs number keys, and eliminates notes in your pockets. Perfect for most people.

    But a PDA without a phone would mean a lot to those who want to remotely store and retrieve thoughts, pictures, and sound. That is a larger unit. That needs a QWERTY keyboard, a camera, wifi for browsing and email and IMs, calendar/to do list/notes recording, and a way of recording things you hear and a way of playing back music and podcasts while you are on the move. Do this and still fit in your pocket, play in your car, and sync with your computer is useful as a second carry-around unit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Kay, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 7:49am

    Re: I want them separate...

    Thanks Nick, I thought I was the only one that felt this way. I have all of the gadgets you mention, plus an (old) Dell Pocket PC which still functions just fine for what I use it for, including email access via wifi. I agree that they are all easier to use than trying to type on a mobile phone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    you arent Webster, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 8:36am

    Re: Good thing

    Thank you for your definition. I found I didn't know what a PDA was till I looked at your post. I have a PDA and I have a Phone. I have a softphone on my dell axim that connect to wifi. So is this not a PDA? Oh I also have bluetooth on it too?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    duane, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 12:05pm

    I said "to me"

    haha you guys are a piece of work. I was careful to open the post with "To me" as in, my personal view of what a PDA is, not what Wiki or some other authority believes.

    The car analogy was N/A.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    to me, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 11:38pm

    Re: I said "to me"

    Well you are a retardo. PDA= Personal Digital Assistant. Not
    PDA=Nice little computer that has no network connectivity, but is packed with applications that would be greatly enhanced with it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    STEVE, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Re: I said "to me"

    Here is a curler, today I got an insurance claim for my lost O2 PDA declined because they defined my PDA as "mobile/portable radio telecomunicationn equipment e.g. mobile / portable telephones and pagers" which they do not cover. Thing is I was overseas at the time and my PDA did not have a sim card in it and was not connected to any network. Can I argue it is not a phone in this instance? Opinions please :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    paintball barrels (profile), Oct 19th, 2010 @ 7:45pm

    and now...

    several years later, i wonder what these numbers are like now ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This