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Perception of functionality key to PDA market growth

Feb 28, 2003 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

With the lackluster year of 2002 now out of the way, the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) market is poised for growth this year as manufacturers adjust their strategies to focus on expanding the market. According to high-tech market research firm, In-Stat/MDR, while the weak global economy, continuing erosion of US consumer confidence, and lack of corporate IT spending were the major contributors to lower… growth in 2002, lower unit prices, improved operating systems, and a wave of multimedia and wireless functionality being integrated into PDAs will spark growth this year.

PDAs are forecasted to have a healthy 18.3% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the 2002-2007 period, with the highest growth rate anticipated for 2003. “Future growth will rely on convincing consumers that PDAs can be more than just PC peripherals,” says Cindy Wolf, an Analyst with In-Stat/MDR. “To that end, strategies for vendors and component manufacturers are adjusting.” There are now three tiers of products: low-end, middle-range, and high-end devices and In-Stat/MDR expects most manufacturers to offer a range of devices in all three categories this year. Devices are clearly moving beyond the basic applications of Personal Information Management (PIM). An increase in multimedia functionality is expected this year, as other manufacturers move into this market to compete more directly with Sony. Manufacturers also appear to be decreasing their margins on devices in order offer products that will attract new users to the market.

In-Stat/MDR also found that:

  • The ability to access the Internet from a PDA is being increasingly integrated into these devices. About 15% of PDAs offered this functionality in 2002, and this percentage is expected to grow to 75% by 2007.
  • Processors are continuing their trend of integration and more competitors are expected to vie for a piece of the market. A variety of products offering on-chip memory, improved power consumption and support for greater functionality will become available.
  • The standard for memory slots for PDAs is continuing its trend toward Secure Digital (SD). In addition, flash memory card densities are reaching new, higher capacities, which will make multimedia and wireless functionality more useful.
  • Wireless and communications functionalities will increase this year on PDAs, especially on high-end devices. Users will have a choice of 802.11 and Bluetooth models for a variety of usage models, and a number of new devices will offer communications capability to help users reduce the number of devices that they need to carry.

The report, Multimedia and Wireless Functionality: Changing the Way Consumers Perceive PDAs, compiles research and analyses on the worldwide PDA market and provides a forecast of unit shipments and revenues from 2002 to 2007. Processor market shares and revenue and PDA unit shipment market shares, along with regional segmentation, are also depicted. The report provides profiles of major vendors and their most recent products, and discusses market trends, opportunities and hurdles.

Copyright © 2003, In-Stat/MDR. All rights reserved. Reproduced by with permission.

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