The company says the weak global economy, continuing erosion of consumer confidence, and lack of corporate IT spending were the major contributors to low growth in 2002, however lower unit prices, improved operating systems, and a wave of multimedia and wireless functionality being integrated into PDAs will spark growth this year.
Instat/MDR predicts an 18.3% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the 2002-2007 period, with the highest growth rate anticipated for 2003.
The company projects that 15% of PDAs can access the Internet now and that number will grow to 75% by 2007. The report also comments on the growing trend towards more powerful CPUs and higher memory which will make multimedia and wireless capabilities more useful. 802.11 and Bluetooth will continue to be integrated into PDAs through the next 5 years.
Although PDA sales are expected to grow, this writer sees a definite trend towards smart phones that incorporate PDA functionality. The convenience of carrying one device should win in the end. Never the less, the report from Instat/MDR has some interesting predictions.