When The PDA Evolved, Its Manufacturers Didn't

For the past several years, researchers have been tracking the “death” of the PDA market — and they still are, the latest report noting that just 1.4 million of the devices shipped worldwide in the second quarter. The report also talks about what vendors must do to grow the market, which — again — is missing the point. The PDA market isn’t dying, it’s simply evolving. The number of people who need or want a standalone PDA has inevitably decreased their functionality has been absorbed into mobile phones. The story here isn’t how the PDA market has collapsed, it’s how the vast majority of PDA manufacturers somehow failed to see this trend coming (or failed to care), and move towards converged devices.

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Comments on “When The PDA Evolved, Its Manufacturers Didn't”

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TechDirt Reader says:

I disagree

I love my PDA and have absolutely no interest in combining my phone and my PDA. I’ve had to support Phone/PDA combos in the past and it is a support, quality of service, and reliability NIGHTMARE when you try to put PDA function on a device designed by a phone company!! Personally I believe the PDA market is not growing because the price point is too high and doesn’t really seem to be going down. Along with that the development of good applications for them is rather slow. However despite all that I love my HP IPAQ PDA and I would certainly buy an upgraded on in the future IF the prices were lower. Right now you can get a workstation for the price of a newer IPAQ!

C. Enrique Ortiz says:

Yes, the PDA market is still evolving

I agree with Carlo…

The PDA market is still evolving.

The “nightmare” referred to above, is mainly around configuration out of the box, is yet to be addressed.

About functionality on PDAs vs. smart-phones, for example Palm PDA games, smart-phones such as the Treo 6xx and 7xx can run the same 40 games that run on the Palm OS PDA.

Voice-enabled PDAs, or smart-phones, will dominate the PDA space – and one big factor that will enable the increase in smart-phones adoption is cost – the network carriers subsidizing smart-phones (and not PDAs) will be putting more and more smart-phones on the hands of people.


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