Expanding the overall market continues to be important as corporate spending has not yet returned to the PDA market, reports In-Stat/MDR. The high-tech market research firm reports that, an increase in the variety of product designs, features and prices, which attract new and seasoned users, will help the PDA market reach over 11 million units this year. While the beginning of the year showed slower growth than expected, the rest of this year should see a return to higher shipment levels, as the economy continues to slowly gain momentum.
Manufacturers continue to offer devices in all three tiers of products: low-end, middle-range, and high-end devices, and have begun to realize the market opportunities of convincing consumers that PDAs can be more than just PC peripherals.
In-Stat/MDR also found that:
Flash memory card densities are reaching new, higher capacities, which will make multimedia and wireless functionality more useful. Integrated memory and peripherals will save consumers money, and space on their devices.
Although added functionality comes at a price, consumers seem less and less willing to spend a lot of money on a PDA. About 31% of current PDA owners spent more than US$400 on their device, while about 23% said they would pay that much for a future device.
The Palm and Handspring merger will keep Palm in the lead in terms of shipments in the coming year, but others, such as HP, Sony and Dell, continue to gain market share and challenge their lead.