New alliances in PDA sector

The PDA market is heating up, leading to interesting alliances and partnerships. Intel has just agreed to a technology deal with with Blackberry creator RIM. Intel will provide RIM with Intel's PXA9xx 3G wireless chipset (codenamed Hermon). Intel said it will offer enhanced battery life for smartphones and other mobile devices. The Intel-RIM deal follows closely on the footsteps of a deal announced two days ago between Microsoft and Palm. The two companies will offer a version of the Palm's Treo smartphone which runs Windows rather than the Palm OS.

Research group Gartner said that RIM shipped 840,000 Blackberrys in the second quarter of 2005, an increase of nearly 65 percent over the 510,000 units shipped in the second quarter of 2004. This makes RIM the market share leader with 23 percent. Palm is in second place with an 18 percent market share. Hewlett-Packard, which uses Microsoft OS, is third with a 12.5 percent share. Gartner thus calculates that about 46 percent of all PDAs shipped are equipped with Microsoft operating systems.

As Dan Jones points out, the purpose of both these deals is to get Blackberry and Treo closer, in features and image, to the more lucrative smartphone market. Trouble is, a giant named Nokia, with 55 percent share, is waiting for them in that sector.

For more on the latest in the PDA sector:
- see Dan Jones' Unstrung report

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