PDAs and smartphones to increasingly merge

By Derek Sooman on December 27, 2004, 9:35 AM
Market analysts have put forward the belief that handheld computing is in the midst of one of its most dramatic changes since this product category was created. Traditional PDAs now face declining sales and growing competition from smartphones. In the coming year, "connected" PDAs are destined to survive in numbers, but "unconnected" devices - PDAs with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but without an integrated cell phone - should be heading into niche markets.

"There always will be a market for the unconnected PDA. But today's real drivers of growth in this segment are mobile phones, smartphones and converged devices." - Alex Slawsby, an analyst for research firm IDC.

The future is seemingly in these "connected" devices - converged products that merge the PDA and the smartphone into one. However, itís not clear yet which will do the best in terms of sales in 2005, the phone with PDA functionality or the PDA with phone functionality, but it seems clear that these devices are set to increasingly merge.

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