PDA News – PocketPC statistics, Palm rumors, Mobile WiMax

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Spb surver results illuminate PocketPC usage

Every year, Spb Software conducts a survey of PocketPC users to find out about how the market is changing. Yesterday they released the compiled results of the survey, broken down by questions, statistics, and percentages.

It should be noted that this survey disproportionately counts high-end users, and so isn’t an ideal barometer of what’s happening on the street. As with any survey that doesn’t have a random sampling, it’s not perfectly scientific. However, it still provides considerable insight into how the market is shaping up.

Among the most interesting tidbits from the report:

  • HP lost almost half its marketshare, mostly to Dell Axims and various PPC phones.
  • HP was still the top brand, with 29%, followed by all phones (27%) and Dell (24%).
  • The most popular single PocketPC was the Dell Axim X50v, used by 12% of respondants.
  • The average memory card size tripled, to over 1 GB.
  • 40% of memory card users have a CompactFlash card.
  • More than half of those surveyed said that they had previously used a Palm device.
  • After “organization,” the most popular usage was internet access, with 70% of users getting online from their PocketPC.
  • Next most popular uses were music (69%), games (65%), and email (64%).
  • The most popular freeware application is Betaplayer/TCPMP, with 39% of users, compared to 34% who had no video application installed.
  • The number of PocketPC phone users has tripled since last year.
  • However, only 16% of all users said that phone functionality was most important when buying a new PocketPC.



Rumor: Palm to launch Linux-based smartphones

An article in DigiTimes of Taiwan cites a regional Palm executive as saying that Palm will debut Linux-based smartphones alongside those running Palm OS.

Frankly, I think that this is about as reliable as a car made out of rocks. There seems to be some confusion between Palm Inc, the maker of the hardware, with Palmsource, the maker of the software. So it’s a small step to suggest that the article is mixing up PalmSource’s plans for a :Linux-based OS with Palm’s ongoing smartphone plans. As yet, there’s absolutely no good reason for Palm to debut a pure Linux device.



IEEE approves Mobile WiMax standard

The IEEE has offically approved the 802.16e standard for mobile WiMax. 802.16e extends the original 802.16 standard for fixed-service WiMax, adding support for handoffs between transmitters, as well as concessions to battery-powered devices.

In some ways, 16e is the more important of the two standards, because mobile WiMax can serve fixed sites as well, while 802.16 base stations cannot serve mobile devices. Trials and certification for Mobile WiMax equipment is expected to begin early next year, with hardware to be on the market in late 2006.



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