According to a new report by Research and Markets, the traditional PDA should begin funeral preparations soon. The market will see a negative growth of 21.5% through 2009, leaving only low-end PDAs and specialized vertical devices remaining. The rest will all be Smartphones or convert to more media oriented toolsets.
The report has also found that:
- Manufacturers will introduce more corporate-focused and niche-focused devices, such as those incorporating GPS, this year.
- Intel’s XScale processors continue to be the most popular; however, most manufacturers are using processors from several vendors across their product lines.
- Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular wireless devices will be offered by more traditional PDA vendors as they look to compete in the Smartphone market.
- By the end of 2005 there will be significant price reductions and more stylishly designed Smartphones, thus attracting more users from PDAs to this category
Here’s the interesting part. This report defines PDAs as handheld devices that are either pen or keypad-centric, and are capable of synchronizing with desktop or notebook computers. Some products may include wireless capabilities that enable Internet access and voice communication. It sounds to me like all current Smartphones would then be classified as PDAs. Again the line between the two is extremely murky and even a research firm that’s charging nearly $4000 for this report can’t make a clear distinction. The PDA market may be evolving and should perhaps even earn a new name as a market segment, but it’s not going anywhere, no matter how many Chicken Littles say so.