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PDA market takes a beating in the third quarter

Palm manages to retain its leadership position in the handheld market. However, the pending release of Pocket PC 2002 is stalls sales for some vendors, says Gartner Group.

The global PDA market has taken a pounding during the third quarter says analyst house, Gartner Group. In the case of Pocket PC devices, the forthcoming release of Microsoft next-generation operating system — Pocket PC 2002 — is thought to have stalled sales.

During the third quarter of 2001 PDA shipments totaled 2.54 million — a 9.4% decrease on the previous quarter. According to Gartner Group, despite vendors like Compaq offering free Pocket PC 2002 upgrades to those, which brought iPAQs between September 6th and November 30th, customers are putting purchasing decisions on hold.

HP’s release of a revamped version of the Jornado in September of this year has further hampered the situation.

Regardless of third quarter set back for the Pocket PC vendors, competition in the handheld operating system space remains fierce. During Q3, Palm took 38.2% and Handspring took a further 22% of the total shipments.

Compaq’s sales fell to 185,000 units, compared with 450,000 in the second quarter.

Although Palm OS continues to hold over 50% market share, there was a slight share lose during the third quarter.

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