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PDA Sales Fall for Third Year in Row

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the let-me-explain-convergence dept.

Handhelds 312

oceanclub writes "Reports ZDNet on how PDA sales have slipped for a third year in a row now at a five-year low." Anyone have numbers for sales of cell phones? My cell phone has almost every piece of functionality I got from my PDA 3 years ago. Plus a crappy camera. Still no dice roller.

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There can be only one... (4, Interesting)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561603)

This doesn't surprise me. I am selling my T3 Tungsten Palm right now, and it's because I just don't use it. I mean, I *want* to use it, or, more accurately, I want to *need* to use it, but it's just not something I keep with me constantly.

I am torn between being geeky and liking tons of devices, but also moving toward simplification as a central theme in my life. Simplication, in the world of gadgets, unfortunately means using a single, do-it-all device. That for me equates to my Blackberry, which I am now syncing with my OS X machine (I refuse to be a M** person).

Anyway, that's the trend I think -- single devices doing everything. Few people want to lug around multiple contraptions.

Question about your blackberry (1)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561644)

I've been thinking about getting one and syching it with OS X. How well have you been finding it works ? Often things are a little bumpier for OS X since people make hardware with windows in mind,

BTW. nice highlander reference.

OSX (2, Informative)

Psychofreak (17440) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561720)

MAC is supposed to natively talk to palm devices. I do not have first had knowledge, but Mom is the Technology coordinator at her gradeschool where everything is Macintosh. She has an older Symbol scanner/palm like they use in hospitals to help keep track of hardware. I know she didn't have to load any new software to get the palm and the Mac to talk.

I am using Windows and Linux, but I gave up trying to use a palm a while ago. I have a Garmin IQue that I really need to get working again, especially since I have a new job that puts me on the road a bit.

I hope someone has first hand information out there.

Phil

Re:Question about your blackberry (3, Informative)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561724)

" I've been thinking about getting one and syching it with OS X. How well have you been finding it works?"

Yes, it seems to be working quite nicely. Alarmed events from iCal don't come over with alarms in the device (unless I'm missing something), but other than that it seems pretty decent.

Re:Question about your blackberry (1)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561829)

Ah that's just what I wanted to know though. I need to have my phone ring and warn me about appointments that are on ical. So if I understand you correctly, that doesn't work ?

Re:Question about your blackberry (1)

SLASHAttitude (569660) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561950)

Try the Treo devices. My office just got me one and I am in love. It syncs with OSX and Linux, and has good email functinality. I just wish the keyboard was better. Just my 2 cents.

Re:There can be only one... (4, Informative)

Eric Giguere (42863) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561670)

Note that smartphone sales [mobilizedsoftware.com] are on the rise. Standalone PDAs are suffering, but the integrated devices are taking off.

Eric
J2ME articles and stuff [ericgiguere.com]

What's needed (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11561679)

really is a combination girlfriend/cook/investment banker/porn star, and the market will really take off.

Re:What's needed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11561895)

Actually I'd settle for the girlfriend/porn star combo. Sort of like a vibrating movie phone I guess, except it would nag you and cost more.

Re:There can be only one... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561683)

This doesn't surprise me. I am selling my T3 Tungsten Palm right now, and it's because I just don't use it. I mean, I *want* to use it, or, more accurately, I want to *need* to use it, but it's just not something I keep with me constantly.


I have found this with every variation on organizers, day-planners, scheduling software, etc. They're fun to look at and play with for a few days, and you try to convince yourself this time you'll actually use it.

The reality is, some people (like me) just don't use that kind of organizing tool and it's just a gadget. I know a lot of people who don't/won't use any such critter. I figure except for a small fraction of people, most people simply do not need this kind of thing.

Maybe they've already sold them to everyone who cares.

Re:There can be only one... (1)

jridley (9305) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561916)

The reality is, some people (like me) just don't use that kind of organizing tool and it's just a gadget. I know a lot of people who don't/won't use any such critter. I figure except for a small fraction of people, most people simply do not need this kind of thing.

I like PDAs but not enough to carry one just for the organizer part. I now do carry one because I have a Tungsten that plays MP3s and RAs, and has a good enough screen that I can read books and view photos on it. Just the PDA functions weren't enough to keep me carrying one.

I personally disconnected my cell phone a few months back, I just don't use a phone that much so I wouldn't want an integrated phone/pda, but a PDA with more than just PDA is good for me. If I wanted a phone, I'd want it all in one. Less crap to carry is good.

Re:There can be only one... (1, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11562012)

You selectively quoted the poster, and changed the sense of their post. They don't just lose the novelty of a new toy, they don't want to carry multiple devices:

"That for me equates to my Blackberry, which I am now syncing with my OS X machine (I refuse to be a M** person)."

The point is that, faced with carrying two devices, one of which (a phone) they want to carry everywhere, they choose that one, and drop the other. Smartphones are neat gadgets, with all the PDA functions that don't quite justify carrying them everywhere for many people. But their phone puts them over the threshold of just a gadget, into an essential tool for lots of people.

Re:There can be only one... (2, Insightful)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561737)

I've found that I never use my Palm anymore. It sits on the cradle for months at a time whereas I got through 2 or 3 of those yellow sticky notepad things a month. If I need to write something down I find a sheet of paper with some unused space and jot down a note. Who needs a $500 PDA for that???

Simplicity counterpoint (4, Insightful)

sczimme (603413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561786)


Simplication, in the world of gadgets, unfortunately means using a single, do-it-all device.

That will simplify one's cartage/storage needs - using one device is pretty straightforward, after all - but can very easily complicate other aspects.

I carry a laptop, a PDA (Clie), and a mobile phone. I don't need all of them all the time, so I carry what is necessary. However, if one item goes south I will still have the other two. If the all-in-one device breaks it becomes an all-are-gone. I find this unacceptable - YMMV.

Small all-in-one devices also frequently suffer from substandard input options and user interfaces. A fair compromise might be a PDA/phone device with an optional full-size (e.g. folding) keyboard, but that still leaves the user with the risk of losing all functionality with one mishap.

Re:There can be only one... (2, Insightful)

DarKry (847943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561824)

Marketing strategy for Palm:

Build in a damn phone already.

Re:There can be only one... (1)

danormsby (529805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561862)

I'm thinking of selling my Zire 72. I was thinking of moving to a Tungsten C to enjoy wireless web page browsing but with the new Sony PSP available soon in the UK I've decided to wait for that.

Re:There can be only one... (1)

EdHockery (743576) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561879)

A couple of years ago I quit buying PDA's because I did *not* used them longer than a year. So it turned out to be cheaper to use a paper and pencil PDA, and I stuck to that ever since

Re:There can be only one... (1)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561967)

hahaha
Funny because it's true!
Dead tree and a pencil are more reliable, cheaper to replace, less likely to be stolen, and has less of a learning curve than a PDA. No weird stylus moves to learn, just your basic english. :)

Re:There can be only one... (3, Insightful)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561975)

I say this in all seriousness, and I will be flamed for it.... but if somebody writes a phonebook/notepad/general PDA program for the Nintendo DS that supports WiFi e-mail and AIM/Yahoo Messenger/MSN/ICQ, I would buy it in a heartbeat (and a DS for that matter). As much as I like PDA's in general, it's not as constantly useful as gaming to me.

Yes but (4, Insightful)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561606)

It is a technology trend, noted by a study at UPenn that new technology almost always has a dip after its first big increase. So the jury is still out.

Re:Yes but (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11561858)

It is a slashdot trend, noted by me, that unattributed comments on slashdot mean dick all.

Logical (2, Interesting)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561607)

I personally had a Zaurus SL5500 which suffered from stupid autonomy problems as well as a poor ergonomy and a lack of decent performance (try to edit a decently sized Excel sheet in his spreadsheet).
So, I swapped it for a read-only PDA : An iPod, that is.
I think people now either get a smartphone or an iPod for such needs.

Re:Logical (1)

pdbogen (596723) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561740)

So... you can edit a decently sized Excel sheet on your iPod? /just sayin'

Re:Logical (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561867)

No, I just realised I should just avoid paying for a device that pretend to be able to do it : The keyword was simplicity : I want music and reminders.

Re:Logical (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561810)

uh.. that's very illogical.

you had a 'need' to edit LARGE excel spreadsheets.. so you switched to a music player with some note-reading functionality.

more to note would be that in most countries where phones commonly come through the carrier, you'll get price-cuts on the phone (that you of course pay with your subscription ultimately but that's another thing)- you can't get them on the pda.. so the pda seems more expensive anyhow(good pda's are pretty expensive).

What I need... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11561610)

I guess PDA is not enough. Cell phone, camera, mp3 player, wifi and PDA would be nice, tough...

Re:What I need... (1)

natron 2.0 (615149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561884)

can it get me a beer as well? that would be nice. Actually, I have opted not to get a PDA ever since I got my Motorola V220 phone. It does everything I need and I can sync it up with my laptop and pc via usb cable.

Not a suprise... (2, Insightful)

Bolshoy Pimpovich (846605) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561613)

Laptops are shrinking, your iPod can store contacts and has a calendar, and mobile phones have the same functionality...

not really a shock.

Re:Not a suprise... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561805)

I found this ability in the iPod completely useless. My 'phone syncs automatically when it enters bluetooth range (thanks to Romeo and some AppleScript). My iPod, on the other hand, needs the cable plugged in, which almost never happens (the cable is usually plugged into the mains. I drop the 'Pod in the dock when I get in, and it charges. It only touches my computer when I have new music to add to it. If Apple had combined the Airport Express and the iPod dock so that syncing could be done over 802.11 (or even bluetooth - at least for contacts, if not for music) then this might have been a useful feature.

No Dice Roller? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11561620)

If your phone has J2ME (it likely does) you could probably get it to run jSimpleDice [sourceforge.net] .

No Blackberrys? (4, Insightful)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561622)

TFA states that no Blackberry or Blackberry-like devices were counted.....Could this have pulled the numbers up?

I think the line between pda/cell phone is starting to blur....Might as well have counted the Blackberry....Hell, you can do most of what you need to on a PDA on a cell phone these days. And they come free/relatively cheap with new service

thewldisntenuff

Treos not counted either (2, Insightful)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561788)

you figure a lot of people that were happy to carry a Palm Pilot may have upgraded to a Treo (or one of the other Palm OS phones) and those do not count as PDA sales either.....

i have not carried my Palm in a few years, but if i was still willing to deal with the bulk of it i would have gotten a Treo already. my cell phone is not all that smart, but it keeps more contact info than just phone number, schedule, memo pad (to do list, shopping lists) and some other stupid things. i miss the Palm OS and the bonus apps.... but i do not miss the size of it.

Re:No Blackberrys? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561828)

smartphone sales are up.

traditional pda sales are down.

Re:No Blackberrys? (1)

rdc_uk (792215) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561994)

" TFA states that no Blackberry or Blackberry-like devices were counted.....Could this have pulled the numbers up?"

hardly insightful, really. Adding a load of sales of a DIFFERENT class of device, is not a sensible way to pull up numbers.

Sales of steam trains are falling; could adding in sales of cars pull the numbers up?

Just an observation (3, Insightful)

JamesD_UK (721413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561633)

I've noticed that whilst maybe three years ago people would like to show off their latest PDA with all the latest features, now mobile phones appear to be the fashionable gadget that that people want to show off with all the latest wiz-bang features.

Another thought is that modern mobile phones have more akin with PDAs (albiet in a different format package) than they do with older generation phones and that the 'phone' feature was the killer applications.

my PDA is still better but... (1)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561636)

It has a large display, much better quality. I can put games on it (without paying Verizon for them), easy to hookup to my computer, much more memory, more functional calendar, todo list, address book.

All around it's better.

butcomplete lack of quality products on the market.

If a company came out with a decent priced good PDA... it would be a whole new market. Unfortunately, there are none.

[dream]I'm still hoping Apple will eventualy step up with a PDA, Phone, Mp3 player deal that will knock everyone's socks off.[/dream]

Re:my PDA is still better but... (1)

usernotfound (831691) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561746)

Yes, but would you like to be "one of those people" who uses it? Just imagine what their marketing machine would do...you'd be assured that 50% of it's users dont use even 50% of it's functionality. They bought it because they didn't know what else to get and it was pretty.

Re:my PDA is still better but... (1)

pdbogen (596723) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561769)

What, have you not heard about the new iSockKnocker?
...I've got nothing. But anyway, if you have a PDA, you don't need extra functionality to make it an MP3 player. Just a good, readily available player, plenty of memory, and good battery life.

Question (-1, Offtopic)

chrisgeleven (514645) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561642)

I currently have a LG VX-4440 phone that I use with my Verizon Wireless #. Is there an easy way to sync its contacts with something like Mozilla Thunderbird? I never quite figured out if this is possible...

Reason I asked is it would make far more sense for me to use that phone instead of shelling out $500 for a PDA/Cell type phone.

Try this Yahoo Group... (1)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561835)

I have a VX4400 as well...

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vx4400support/

Good luck,

It's not just cell phones (4, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561646)

that are replacing pda functionality. Hell, even the iPod has most of the functions of a basic pda sans an input method. I use it as my pda because my phone sucks, I just plug it into the cradle at night and it charges, updates my calendar, to do list, contacts etc.
Might not be good for people who constantly have to write stuff down, but for me it does what I need to do, oh yeah and plays music.

Re:It's not just cell phones (1)

aug24 (38229) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561872)

That's odd cos my new phone does everything I need plus plays MP3s (and takes a gig card to store them on) ;-)

J.

I can see why (3, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561660)

I took mine back when I found out that you could not point them at a settlement and see on the readout how many humanoid life forms there were in it, and that they were not capable of detecting nearby warp drive fields.

dice roller? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561667)

?

wtf?

just download or code a j2me, c++, python, opl or vb program to do it..

Re:dice roller? (2, Informative)

toddbert (172276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561803)

Well, if you're using a Palm device there is a decent dice roller called Gamer's Dice Roller. Can't remember where I downloaded it from, but the help screen says...

http://palm.dahm.com/

Hope this helps!

What's the Difference? (1)

Morphix84 (797143) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561677)

I'm using a Treo 600. For all those out there with PDA2Ks and Kyocera Devices that are both a PDA and a cellphone, does that contribute to both?

My cell phone is better than yours... (1, Funny)

Rahga (13479) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561682)

My cell phone has almost every piece of functionality I got from my PDA 3 years ago. Plus a crappy camera. Still no dice roller.

Sure, but can you use it like a CB radio [pokia.com] (DJ Convoy)? Is it Shatner-compliant [ebay.com] ?

Ebooks (2, Interesting)

Cheesy Fool (530943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561690)

I only use my PDA nowadays for reading ebooks, nothing else.

Re:Ebooks (1)

afd8856 (700296) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561759)

Hail to bw!

Re:Ebooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11561843)

Yup - Reading eBooks and listening to http://www.audible.com/ [audible.com] books is my iPAQ's main duty although I also have http://www.mobipocket.com/ [mobipocket.com] on my SmartPhone.

Re:Ebooks (1)

DarKry (847943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561945)

absolutely, I will consider buying one of these fancy new phones when I can carry a library around with me.

I too "ONLY" use my Zire 71 to read. But I spend several hours every day doing it sooooo.

because (5, Interesting)

myom (642275) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561692)

I am currently workign on a project where PDAs would be used in the industry. I helped a student with a thesis and attached project a year ago and I've had a HP Jornada 620 since 2000.

For every generation of the PDA the operating systems have gotten much slower, bloated, hiding necessary functions, doing the usual MS oversimplification of the interface (hiding file extensions, not actually closing the apps etc).

Add more crashes, data loss and an abysmal battery duration and I'd say it's no wonder why the PDA sales drop, especially with phones getting more and more PDA functionality.

PDAs never got their killer application, which could have been a few of: phone capability, superior data input method compared to phones, instant messaging, mail, cheaper packet based data transfer or porn.

I can only see one way PDAs can go, and that is to be smaller, have a longer battery duration and have phone and instant messaging support and by that definitely Edge/GPRS/UMTS or other 3G telephony and data transfer capability, in effect becoming a lot of things at once.

The only way this can be achieved is with a total rewrite or replacement of PocketPC/WindowsCE

Re:because (4, Insightful)

Glock27 (446276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561768)

The only way this can be achieved is with a total rewrite or replacement of PocketPC/WindowsCE

It's called "PalmOS". PalmSource has announced a future version will be based on Linux, which is exciting.

Now if someone will just build some compelling hardware... :-)

Wearable devices are a dark horse in all this also, and might make a better base for converged comm/computer functionality (since you can comfortably carry bigger batteries that way).

Re:because (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561882)

not actually closing the apps

This is not always a bad thing. OS X apps don't exit when they have no open documents, they stay in memory until you next click on them and then respond instantly. The first machine I had that did this was a Psion Series 3 (remember them? Great machines). Closing a document would sometimes drop you out of the application, but the app would still be memory resident unless explicitly killed. The machine only had 256K of RAM (I remember paying £30 for a 128K flash disk for it. Now you can buy 1GB for almost the same price), and so you sometimes did need to close apps, but leaving the commonly used ones running gave it a performance boost. Ideally, apps should not exit unless their memory is required by something else, and then they should automatically exit (assuming that they have no open documents) based on some kind of least recently or least frequently used algorithm.

Re:because (1)

hanshotfirst (851936) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561936)

My Blackberry gives all this. (granted, it is the companies blackberry, so part of its usefulness is due to Blackberry server tying into Exchange, etc) pr0n would be avoided on the company's nickel.

Re:because (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 9 years ago | (#11562018)

Uh their are 'Smartphones' using the latest version of the Pocket PC OS that combine PDA & Cellphone capabilities... Lots of them in fact... But I have to ask you quite a few questions because some of what you say just doens't make much sense...

"that is to be smaller"

You realy want an even tinier screen?!? PDA's these days are pretty much teh right size to still be functional... If you'd look at smartphones you'd see their are generally two types with Palm opting for a inbetween unit (Treo 600 & 650), one is PDA sized (with complete PDA functionality) the other is cellphone sized (with less PDA functions)... I'd rather they not try to shrink them as that would hurt what they can do as the 'smartphone' that is cellphone sized shows...

"have a longer battery duration"

Uh haven't tried any newer PDA's like the HP Ipaq RX3115 have you? Besides the fact that HP sells a double powered battery that fits the RX3115 even the standard battery is enough to last 8 hours of general use or 3-4 hours of WIFI use... Doubling that gives enough battery life for most people & adding things like wall & car chargers makes them easy to charge wherever you are if you do get low...

"instant messaging support"

Um while I know it's not quite AIM or Yahoo's IM client all the new ones do come with MSN Messenger... Unless you don't count that as IM support?

"by that definitely Edge/GPRS/UMTS or other 3G telephony and data transfer capability"

I'd rather they expand those 3G style networks first to make it worthwhile & for the US at least this would only be a bad thing as it would tie certain 'PDA's' to certain Cell service providers... Heck it already does with smartphones with this ability... For instance Verizon (I work right next to a verizon kiosk so I know what they carry) carries an LG smartphone, two Samsung Smartphones, Black Berries, & Treo 600 & 650 models... But they won't let you use any other smartphone with their network and not every provider in the US uses some sort of 3G network anyways... Maybe a 'phone expansion' slot or something that ties the PDA to a certain network might appeal, but that would seem to put it to close to just changing Sim cards for most US cellphone providers to like...

All in all I think you need to take a look at the current models of PDA's before you comment, things have significantly changed in the last 5 years... Heck a RX3115 for instance adds the ability to act as an extension of a desktop computer over wireless and control most electronics that use a remote in your house which is a big jump from the self-contained days 5 years ago... & Smartphones are obviously a big priority since most smartphones already do what you want, so you may want to go take a look at them...

Does this include cell-phones? (1)

Valkyre (101907) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561693)

I work at RadioShack, and almost every cell-phone we carry has PDA-like functionality. There is little room for 3rd party apps, but every one contains a calendar, address book, memo pad, and the ability to recieve or send email. Unless you're an active hotsyncer, why bother?

Also, do Palm-based cell-phones or PDAphones count in these numbers?

PDA friendly websites (1)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561704)

Modern mobile phones have proper HTTP (not WAP) browsers and sites formatted for PDA fit on their little screens quite well. Not many people are using PDAs to surf the Internet, but it's worth keeping the PDA sites going - if you had one - to cater for the new style phones. Here's the cute little Google search page [google.com] for PDAs.

Re:PDA friendly websites (3, Interesting)

RailGunner (554645) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561796)

Modern mobile phones have proper HTTP (not WAP) browsers and sites formatted for PDA fit on their little screens quite well.

Interestingly enough, this is how Opera makes most of it's money. While their PC browser is excellent, (IMHO), it's the ability to render sites on small screen's that's making the company money.

Tablet PC (1)

windex (92715) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561710)

I bought a Tablet PC instead of a new laptop to fill the need of both a PDA and a Laptop given circumstances. It's done that job well, and while it's not as small, it's small enough to keep nearby and weighs so little (it's a slate) that it's easy to hold with one hand.

It's also a hell of a lot easier to work with email and web tasks than on a little 4" 640x480 (at best) display.

Re:Tablet PC (2, Interesting)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561797)

I was always skeptical of tablets until my business partner got one (he wasn't at the time).

1. Impresses the hell out of potential clients, most of whom have not seen anything like it.
2. Makes it very easy for a designer to mark up a design during a client meeting.
3. Swivel screen is convenient when you're meeting with others and need to show them what's going on.
4. We carry our laptops everywhere anyway... no need for a PDA, especially when it can't match up on features and usability.

Now I want one. :)

Newton - PalmPilot - iPod (3, Insightful)

treerex (743007) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561711)

When the PalmPilot came out I found that it could do 90% of what I could do on my Newton in a smaller package. I was using Grafiti on my Newton anyway, so it didn't make sense to keep using it.

Then I stopped taking notes on the Palm and just used it for calendar and contacts. One more thing to remember to take with me.

Now I can sync my (iCal) calendars and my address book to my iPod. I take that little white gem with me pretty much everywhere anyway, and it's doing 80-90% of what my PalmPilot did. And it "just works" on my Mac OS X box.

So it isn't a surprise that this is happening: few people really need to read and write email on the Blackberry. Can you not be disconnected for a few minutes a day?

Re:Newton - PalmPilot - iPod (2, Insightful)

pdbogen (596723) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561852)

Interestingly enough, you just indicated that your iPod only does 72-81% of what your Newton did...

Re:Newton - PalmPilot - iPod (1)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561864)

Now I can sync my (iCal) calendars and my address book to my iPod. I take that little white gem with me pretty much everywhere anyway, and it's doing 80-90% of what my PalmPilot did. And it "just works" on my Mac OS X box.

How do you enter phone numbers or new calendar items on your iPod without hooking it up to a laptop? Is there another interface built into it to type stuff in?

Smartphones (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561712)

Smartphone says are strong and this affects PDA sales. The only thing I ended up using my PDA for was GPS software, I have that on my phone now. I always keep my phone with me, my PDA is too bulky to be pocketable.

Not surprised. (2, Informative)

Misch (158807) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561727)

Not surprised...

I had a Palm Vx. Most stable piece of hardware I ever owned. But, then it got stolen from me at my workplace. (Bastards). I replaced it with a Palm Zire 71. Nice color screen. Software was slightly unstable. Sometimes it would freeze up while doing something (usually while playing a game).

I just replaced it with a Tungsten T5. The software is total crap. It fried its own memos database during a hotsync. Luckily I had a backup of that... and, oh yeah... Palm dropping the Universal Connector platform... real smart idea there.

Idiots. I'm not surprised.

Supply/Demand (1)

Tuffsnake (767507) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561729)

Just like everyone is saying, cellphones are providing many of ther services that PDA's do for cheaper with the cell phone capability. This, in theory, reduces the ammount of demand (thus lower sales). What will be interesting to see is if this does follow the standard model and drive prices down.

And for the record, I liked my old non-flip phone that I could smash on the floor, drop in a toilet, etc and it would still work ... and the batter lasted twice as long....I still think the answer is to combine all these things into mini chips to put into peoples brains and then you don't even have to worry about carrying anything around!

Its the russians (0, Flamebait)

DarKry (847943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561732)

I have been in ukraine for around half a year now and can say this, if cell phone sales are skyrocketing its the Russians doing it. In a country where the average income per year if a littl less that 500 US dollars at least 90% of the population that I see not only have cell phones, but never stop using them. I personally can't see spending a 5th of my income for the year on a phone but then again I wasn't born here. If scientists discover in 10 years that cellphones cause cancer it will be because Ukraine has turned into one giant tumor.

Re:Its the russians (1, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561758)

"If scientists discover in 10 years that cellphones cause cancer it will be because Ukraine has turned into one giant tumor."

It might also be because of top politicians' consumption of that wonderful Ukrainian delicacy: dioxin-and-borscht soup.

Re:Its the russians (-1, Flamebait)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561802)

If scientists discover in 10 years that cellphones cause cancer it will be because Ukraine has turned into one giant tumor.

On the other hand, maybe it works like free radiotherapy on all those Chernobyl cancers.

Re:Its the russians (1)

DarKry (847943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561861)

You know, you may be on to something.. I have noticed recently a third ear growing on the back of my head. Perhaps I need to use a cellphone more often.

what's in a name (1)

rmolehusband (192640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561764)

I'll bet the total number of devices with PDA like functionality sold is still growing. 'People' know and understand phones so a phone with a built in PDA is a big seller.

On the other hand, 'people' think PDAs are for geeks, so a PDA with a built in phone stays on the shelves, even if it were identical to the phone with the built in PDA.

On most high end phones now, the actual phone probably represents less than a third of the functionality, but it's still called a phone. That's amrketing.

If it stores my contacts, diary, memos and whatnot, I don't care what the marketdroids choose to call it, it's a PDA.

About "converged" devices.... (4, Interesting)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561783)

I just got a new PDA actually - a Tungsten E. I don't really need all the "bells and whistles" of some of the multi-media PDA's and converged cell-phone/PDA's out there right now. What I needed was new calculator. For a bit more than what a good calculator cost, the Tungsten E also provides the following:
-
A way for me to keep a material/hardware reference commonly used in my industry right on hand via SD card (FAA document MMPDS-01 in case your wondering).
-
A "lightweight" Octave (LyME) for more complex calculations (I use NeoCal otherwise).
-
An organizer that's independant of my office scheduler so I can integrate my personal and work schedules without storing personal information on my office computer.
-
A means to check my home e-mail without storing personal data on my work machine. (although I could use the web).
-
A way to securely store my ever increasing number of passwords, pin #'s, etc. (yes, my handheld is password protected).
-
So, for me, it works out. I thought about getting a converged phone/PDA, but I take my phone places I'd never take my PDA. A phone can be replaced, the data I have stored on my PDA would be a much more severe loss.
-
-
Anyway, my 2 cents.

Re:About "converged" devices.... (1)

Matje (183300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561982)

out of curiosity, how are you going to check your email? There's no connectivity on the Tungsten E is there?

PDAs aren't upgraded as often as cell phones (1)

xylix (447915) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561804)

My cell phone has almost every piece of functionality I got from my PDA 3 years ago

My cell phone goes almost everywhere with me. It is tiny and light and has all important contacts. But it isn't a complete replacement for my PDA.

The problem is that I don't have any need to replace my PDA. I have a 5 year old Handspring Visor that still does everything I want it to do. The only really important things I use it for are playing chess (lets see a really good program for a cell phone), storing passwords and important information in a locked database, and storing config information and miscellaneous notes about my server. These are not things I NEED a PDA for however. It is just convienient to use it for that. If I lost or broke it I would probably buy another one cheaply, but it has worked without any problems for 5 years now.

On the other hand, after a year with my cell phone I am wondering if it might be time to upgrade. I live in Japan and there are ever-increasing discounts on the price of new phones based on how long you have owned your old one. I know it sounds stupid, but I am thinking of changing to a bright red phone with a better display rather than the miniture black one I have now. That kind of upgrading likely has something to do with why cell phone sales are brisk and PDA sales are not.

cell phone sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11561811)

664.5 million units in 2004, a 29% rise compared to 2003. Source: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/ap /20050129/ap_on_hi_te/cell_phone_shipments

no dice roller (1)

usernotfound (831691) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561816)

be a (geeky) man and flip a coin repeatedly for random binary numbers.

Newton (1)

russellh (547685) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561821)

But the Newton community is growing!

Nevvton Communiity (2, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561896)

"But the Newton community is growing!"

It's 6ood xo see that somehbv4 else is vsing a Nevvton t0 make Slabbbot entries #

Wireless offices play a part, as well. (2, Interesting)

Vinnie_333 (575483) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561841)

Not only are mutli-functional cell phones talking away from pda sales but, now that we have wireless in our building, everyone in my office just carries their laptops to our meetings. No syncing necesary; just type your notes straight on the network. I do keep mine around (mainly out of force of habit) but I'm one of the few that do.

I'm in the market for a new PDA, but (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561845)

i need more than a few hours of battery life !

I still don't see any reason for a color screen, but I'd be willing to pay for it if colour didn't come at the cost of battery life.

I do use my palm m500 a lot, for contacts and calendar and ebooks, and very rarely for email or SMS.

I could use a better screen (more contrast & rez), and maybe remote internet so I could surf from my bed, and auto-synch to my PC.

Still waiting after all these years ;-)

No surprise (2, Insightful)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561854)

I don't work in IT so it generally means that I spend more time in meetings than quite a lot of people here - as such, I heavily rely on a diary, something that syncs with Outlook, can be easily modified on the go and means that my secretary can access and modify the information on it.

Therefore it isn't much of a surprise than standalone PDA's are dying when my current pda/phone combo [typepad.com] is nearly the same size as a Nokia 7610 [nokia.com] and comes with a decent input method (which always was the killer issue with using a standard phone pad to enter details), sends and receieves phone calls/sms/mms and works as a PocketPC with a large base of useful applications. A Nokia simply doesn't cut it and the SonyEricsson P9xx is only discounted because it's syncing with Outlook isn't particulary great (especially with the categorisation of tasks and notes).

A friend of mine is selling his iPaq after getting a Blackberry from work. Sure it doesn't have a NES emulator, PocketScumm and a few other of the niceties - but it does everything he needs.

I'm going to really hate having to give this back.

oh great, (-1, Offtopic)

kdark1701 (791894) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561857)

Now they'll sue the phone manufactureres for stealing their business.

Three advantages (still) held by PDAs over phone (0)

ceeam (39911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561870)

1. Larger screen
2. Touchscreen/stylus
3. Price

Declining Quality? (5, Informative)

cyranoVR (518628) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561875)

Unfortunately, it seems that PalmOne's current strategy isn't to innovate, but to make crappy devices that need to be replaced after 9-12 months.

I bought my Tungsten | E less than a year ago (April 2004). After less than three months, the chrome had completely chipped off the "down" button, last week its stereo jack stopped working, and the battery is on its way to dying.

I went to the Palm website to see about at least getting my TE's stereo jack fixed. Turns out the warranty only spans 90 days(!), after which repairs cost [palmone.com] a $125 flat-fee(!!). Coincidence that this is almost as much as some new Palm handhelds? The support section of their website offers the following "advice:" [palmone.com]
palmOne does not provide replacements for lost or out-of-warranty parts and accessories. If the warranty has expired for your accessory, we recommend you purchase a new one (palmOne Store [palmone.com] ).
Huh? Why would I spend $499 on a "new one" when I can easily obtain spare parts from a third party? [gethightech.com] . I smell the work of a MBA.

(I ended up opening up the Tungsten myself and soldering the headphone jack connections back into place. There was barely any solder on them to begin with. Hmmmmm....)

Now don't get me wrong, I like my TE and I use it a lot. It's just too bad that Palm designed a device that isn't meant to be used that much!

For $200 + shipping, you'd think they could give me something a little more sturdy.

Pda's still useful (1)

mikapc (664262) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561880)

I don't know about anyone else but I've found my Sony Clie SJ30 to be incredibly useful. Besides scheduling, with a 128meg memory stick, I use it as an English, philosophy, and music dictionary. With a gps transmitter I've used my pda to route and drive those maps on the road. I've also used all the basic scheduling as well. As far as I know I know I haven't heard of many cell phones that can be used for all those purposes I listed above except scheduling. I know there are cellphones now that can be used as a gps map, but I've heard it's slow, and you have to pay a monthly fee to use that service.

Mine works as intended, no need for new one. (1)

stuntpope (19736) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561883)

I still use my one and only PDA, a Palm III. I used to try out 3rd party applications, but hardly do anymore. When I rode the subway to work, I'd download the news and read it, but now, notes to self, alarms, and contact list are its purposes for me. I don't expect I'll buy a newer all-in-one PDA/Web browser/MP3 player/balance-my-checkbook device. But then again, I don't even have a cellphone (you ignorant clod!).

PDAs down, smart phones up (2, Informative)

jfanning (35979) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561890)

It all depends where you are looking.

If you look at the smart phone sales figures they are skyrocketing, only stand-alone PDA unit sales are dropping.

The Register [theregister.co.uk] has an article that counts both sales figures together and has a nice table of figures at the end. Nokia alone shipped 4,949,5590 units with PDA functionality in Q4 2004.

No real innovation in PDAs recently (1)

crashmstr (753615) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561894)

I am a heavy PDA user, and have been for years (about 1996). Yes, combined devices (PDA/phone, Phone with PDA functions, Blackberry, etc) have gained over standard PDAs, but I do not see that as the only trend.

There have not been any really large innovations in the hardware in some time (and not in the OS either).
Big improvements in the past: Larger Memory, Color Screens, High Resolution Screens, Expansion Cards, Fast Processors

I've been through a lot of these, and they made we want to upgrade, or others possibly to want to get one. Now the hardware improvements are much less important, the OS and built-in software improvements are more subtle, and some of the players have been getting out of the market (Sony out of the US PalmOS market, for one).

So fewer manufacturers. Less improvements. Less reason to upgrade. And when there aren't as many new models, prices don't drop as quickly so getting the "nice" PDA still takes a lot of cash.

HP Omni GO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11561927)

I could have told you this the day Palm Pilots went on sale. You see, I had a PDA before most people knew what PDA's were. I had a HP Omni Go.

It had everything palm pilots had: Calendar, address book, to-do list, games, calculator - oh yeah, a full keyboard in addition to the glyph style hand writing recognition.

I used it for a while then I realized it wasn't helping me. Rather, it was hindering me.

Form factor (1)

marktoml (48712) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561940)

I find that a smartphone is just too small a form factor for me to be effective with when using it as a PDA. The PDA fits nicely between the phone and a tablet (which is a little too large IMHO).

If you need a PDA, you need it and for some I guess the phone form factor isn't an issue if your primary need for the PDA is contact/task management. The smaller size does make it less useful for things that require more interaction (documents, notes, etc.) Toss in a small wireless keyboard and they are great for notes, quick documents and the like.

demise of PDAs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11561944)

Could the demise of PDAs be contributed to VNC and RDC? The more we access our "central" computers remotely, the less we need to have our contact information handy.

Low Tech (1)

jmrSudbury (779091) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561948)

Before I bought a PDA, I never used to carry everyone's phone number around with me where ever I went. After years of carrying my pda around barely using it for anything other than a calendar (I had all my friends numbers memorized anyway), it did not seem useful anymore. Actually, it got the most use when I was doing comparison shopping, but I found using a pen and paper was much faster than typing on a tiny keyboard. Low tech was still the better solution for me.

No innovation (3, Interesting)

z1d0v (789072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561949)

Where's the new stuff? Every now and then we see a new PDA, with Bluetooth, WiFi, and all...

But where is the innovation? I want a few-gigas-hardrive (those I hear from toshiba might do the trick...), a nice-to-have-640x480-screen, decent battery, GSM/GPRS or UMTS, and even an integrated projector to do some presentations... I want a real personal assistant that makes me use it, or I will (again) leave my PDA at home and just bring along my cellular.

It seems the PDAs that come out simply don't have anything really new, besides an extra Mhz from a new Intel processor.

Heh (1)

Lao-Tzu (12740) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561966)

The company I work for decided to call our primary software product "PDA", as an acronym for "Production Data Analysis". As I am currently working on this software right this second, the title of this article surprised me. What, huh, our software sales are slipping? Why would slashdot care?

TLAs are far too overloaded already, but bad marketing decisions keep pushing more meanings on them.

IDC marketing frame (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561971)

another report [mobilizedsoftware.com] , from Canalys, shows that the recent trend is over 100% growth (doubling) in smartphones, while "PDAs" without phones shrank by about 5%. So clearly the trend is a transition to smartphones, rather than "PDAs are dying" - smartphones are PDAs, too. IDC's report is phrased to make Blackberry look good, without even mentioning their #1 competitor, Palm, which is the leader in the PDA/smartphone dual marketplace. #1 smartphone seller Nokia is surfing the same wave. But the real story, that PDAs, and Palm, have transitioned to smartphones, is the kind of story that the mainstream media missed when networking happened to PCs in the early 1990s. While the media was fascinated by their favorite corporate success, Microsoft's desktop rise, they all missed the Internet. Perhaps a similar benevolent neglect will help give the mobile Web the element of surprise when it delivers its own killer apps in the next couple of years.

Am I the only one (1)

Ratbert42 (452340) | more than 9 years ago | (#11561993)

that uses my Palm? My phone book is on my cell especially now that I have a phone without IR and I can't beam to it. My calendar is on Exchange/Outlook at work, but I keep my personal cal on my Palm. I use todo's and keep a lot of notes on the Palm because it replaces the 20 little scraps of paper I normally carry. If I need to remember something, I can even take a snapshot of it instead of taking the time to write it down. I read ebooks on my Palm whenever I'm waiting for a meeting, a car repair, the workday to end, or a corn-eyed brown trout. It's much smaller than even a single paperback and gives me the choice between reading Lord of the Rings or Thinking in Java. I can work on my pathetic chess skills or just stare at a photo of Gabrielle Reese on it.

Listen to Apple (2, Insightful)

SamSeaborn (724276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11562005)

This is another example of how Apple is *so* on top of market trends.

A couple years back (and even today!) people whined about how Apple should make a PDA -- bring back the Newton, or whatever. Steve Jobs repeatedly said Apple isn't interested in that market; now we see why.

Sam

Give me my PSION... (1)

silverdr (779097) | more than 9 years ago | (#11562026)

... 5mx or Revo plus upgraded with decent mobile phone, headset socket and bluetooth. Colour screen may also fit in there. Then I would buy them all and make a rise in sales! Without a decent keyboard (being always and immediately available) there is no way to use the (vertical) PDAs longer than a couple of struggling months to realise that it takes more than it gives. All of my friends who were using ipaqs, palms and similar stuff have long dropped them. PSION using friends are still in love with their aging beauties...
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