Study: PDA Sales to Double in U.S. This Year

Sales of PDAs (personal digital assistants) in the U.S. in the first six months of 2000 equaled sales for all of last year, suggesting that overall sales of the devices in the U.S. this year will be double those of 1999, according to researcher NPD Group Inc.

U.S. sales of PDAs in 1999 reached 1.3 million units, with a value of US$436.5 million according to NPD. The same number of PDAs were sold in the first six months of 2000, with a value of $406.9 million, reflecting average prices falling from $350 to $324 during this period.

Sales in June 2000 were 190 percent higher than in June 1999, NPD said in a report released Thursday.

Growth drivers include the lower prices as well as new PDAs that are expanding the use of these devices beyond tech-savvy professional men and into the largely untapped youth, consumer and female markets, according to NPD.

Palm Inc. continues to be the runaway market leader with a 65 percent share of the PDA market in June 2000, according to NPD. Newcomer Handspring Inc. has taken 21 percent of the market from a standing start less than a year ago.

The success of Handspring's Visor PDA, which runs Palm software, has hit the market share of Palm and Casio Computer Co. Ltd. and knocked Philips Consumer Electronics Corp. and Everex Systems Inc. out of the top five, NPD said. Everex has since exited the PDA market, and its Freestyle PDA is no longer available, according to Everex.

Table 1: PDA Vendor U.S. Market Shares, 1999-2000Company Market Share, June 2000 Market Share, June 1999Palm 65.4% 74.8%Handspring 21.6% -Casio 4.4% 13.5%HP 3.3% 3.1%NEC 2.0% n/aPhilips n/a 2.9%Everex n/a 1.5%Source: NPD GroupNPD, in Port Washington, New York, can be contacted at +1-516-625-2302 or at http://www.npdintelect.com/.

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