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Gartner: PDA Death Dance Postponed

According to a report by market researchers at Gartner,  worldwide PDA sales in the first quarter jumped 25 percent from 2.7 million units a year ago to 3.4 million units this year, the largest percentage gain ever seen for PDA sales in that quarter. The statistics stand in sharp contrast to opinions from many industry observers--including yours truly--that PDAs are a wave of the past and destined for the technology trash heap alongside DiVX DVDs and Digital Audio Tape (DAT). Several factors artificially prolonged the death of the PDA, however: The average price per PDA is higher than ever before, for example, and most best-selling PDAs now feature advanced functionality such as Wi-Fi wireless networking. But the most telling statistic, in my mind, is that PalmONE, which largely makes traditional PDAs, was knocked out of the top spot by RIM, which makes phone-based PDAs only. And the top PDA operating system--Microsoft's Windows Mobile--is increasingly being adapted for use on smartphones, not PDAs. There, I can sleep again.

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