Friday, November 1, 2002

Analysis: handheld market share


By Gartner Dataquest staff

Worldwide PDA shipments totaled 2.6 million units in the third quarter of 2002, a 0.9 percent decline from the same period last year, according to preliminary results by Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc.

Shipments for the first three quarters of 2002 are down 8.3 percent from the same period last year. Gartner Dataquest analysts said the market will need an exceptionally strong shipment of PDAs in the fourth quarter for the industry to maintain worldwide growth in 2002.

Palm, Hewlett-Packard, and Sony accounted for 58 percent of all PDA shipments worldwide in the third quarter of 2002, as shown in Table A.

Table A: Worldwide PDA Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q02 (Units)
Company3Q02 Shipments3Q02 Market Share (%)3Q01 Shipments3Q01 Market Share (%)Growth (%)
Total Market2,643,692100.02,618,818100.00.9

Palm retained 30 percent market share in the third quarter, while Sony and Toshiba showed the strongest growth in the quarter with increases of 280 percent and 1,705 percent, respectively. Toshiba is a relatively new market entrant, which explains the high initial growth rate.

"Palm is not as dominant as it once was, but it still shipped more than twice as many units in the third quarter as the number two vendor, HP. Palm engaged in significant promotional activity in the third quarter to reduce inventories and make room for new models that will be launched in October 2002," said Todd Kort, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest. "Sony PDA shipments have nearly tripled since the third quarter of 2001, and it is on the heels of HP, contending for the number two position. Sony has been averaging about one new model launched in every month of 2002."