According to Gartner, PDA sales made their biggest jump ever in the first quarter of 2005. Preliminary estimates show that shipments of RIM devices led the charge with 75 percent growth over last year. palmOne still leads in market share, but the number of devices shipped fell 26 percent in 2004.
The numbers come as a surprise, since it is generally assumed that PDAs are being eclipsed by increasingly sophisticated Smartphones. The Gartner report suggests that this unexpected growth is driven by wireless connectivity, which only recently came of age. So, PDAs are making a comeback because they are becoming more like Smartphones? There is a clear niche for PDAs, and they aren't going to disappear for a long time, but I don't think this is a true PDA comeback. Mobile email devices are great, but mobile email devices that let me make phone calls and surf the Web are even better. - Eli