Smartphones vs. PDAs: The Law of Mobility in action

According to a recent report by IDC, shipments for handheld devices (i.e. non-phone PDAs) continued a nine-quarter trend of year over year declines, dropping 22.3% to 1.5 million devices shipped worldwide in the first quarter of this year.

Contrasting this with increasing adoption of smartphones (PDAs with mobile phone service built in) demonstrates how highly consumers value mobility. ABI Research projects that shipments of smartphones will double in 2006 to 123 million units (that would imply that first quarter 2006 shipments should be at least 15 million, ten times PDA shipments).

Considering that smartphones typically cost twice as much as PDAs with similar functionality (e.g. the Palm Treo 650 costs $680 before rebates at BestBuy, while the Palm T/X high-end PDA only costs $309), clearly the Law plays out not just in market success, but also in premium pricing.

Leave a Reply