Email drives PDA shipments

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The personal digital assistant (PDA) industry has experienced its strongest recorded first quarter with 3.4 million shipments worldwide according to analyst, Gartner.

The personal digital assistant (PDA) industry has experienced its strongest recorded first quarter with 3.4 million shipments worldwide according to analyst, Gartner.

Shipments increased 25 percent from the same period last year and were the highest since Gartner began measuring in 2000.

"This increase is primarily the result of the growing popularity of wireless email, with users favouring larger displays and QWERTY keyboards that are operated with both hands," said Todd Kort, principal analyst in Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide group.

PDAs with integrated wireless or mobile capabilities accounted for approximately 55 percent of all PDAs shipped in the quarter, Kort said.

The average selling price (ASP) increased 15 percent to US$406 which Gartner analysts attributed to the rise in popularity of high-end wireless models.

Research in Motion became the number one ranked PDA vendor with a 75.6 percent rise in shipments while palmOne fell to number two position with a 26.33 percent decline.

palmOne market share dropped to 18 percent, its lowest since it entered the market in 1996.

“We expect that palmOne will be adding other operating systems and setting more of its own direction, while PalmSource is redirecting itself toward Linux and smartphones,” Kort said.

Windows CE was the most popular PDA operating system, followed by RIM and Palm OS.

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