Dataquest: PDA shipments slow down

Worldwide PDA shipments declined by more than 2 percent in the third quarter of 2002 compared to last year, according to a revised survey released Thursday by Dataquest Inc., a unit of research company Gartner Inc., which based the new count on restated figures from Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP).

HP said the number of units it shipped worldwide was actually 89,000 fewer than previously reported, a decline of about 23 percent, due to a discrepancy in its tabulations, Dataquest said in a statement. The revision means that the worldwide PDA (personal digital assistant) market experienced a decline of 2.4 percent, rather than 0.9 percent growth reported earlier this week.

"Based on this new information, market growth rates have declined, showing that the PDA industry is struggling more than previously reported," said Todd Kort, principal analyst with Gartner Dataquest, in the statement.

The revision knocks HP to the number-three position in the handheld market worldwide and boosts Sony Corp. to the second seat. Palm Inc. retained its market-leader position with 31.7 percent share, shipping 808,805 units. Sony shipped less than half that to capture 13.5 percent of the market. HP, with its flagship iPaq line of handhelds, grabbed 11.5 percent of the market, Dataquest reported.

Sony showed some of the biggest gains year over year, as its market share grew 280 percent from the third quarter of 2002. Tokyo-based Toshiba Corp. also reported big gains compared to the third quarter of 2001. Its share grew by 1,705 percent to take the number-four seat with 5.7 percent market share.

Total worldwide unit shipments reached 2.55 million, down from 2.62 million in the third quarter of 2001.

U.S. figures were also revised. Total U.S. shipments fell 1.4 percent to about 1.21 million from 1.23 million in the comparable quarter last year. Palm now holds 41.7 percent of the U.S. market, while Sony trailed with 19.8 percent and HP had 9.7 percent.

Feeling the biggest pinch in the U.S. was Handspring Inc., which saw its market share fall to 6.6 percent in the third quarter of 2002, compared to a 22.5 percent share last year.

The survey does not account for shipments of new converged phone-PDA devices such as Handspring's Treo Communicator, according to Dataquest.

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