Did the iPhone offically kill the PDA?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by TapHappy, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. TapHappy macrumors regular

    May 21, 2009
    Saw a guy today pull out an old Palm PDA! Wow talk about a dino, but it got me thinkin'. Were PDA's still around when the iPhone was introduced back in 2007?

    Does anyone still many them? I think Palm was the last Mohican.
  2. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
  3. mm1250 macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2007
    PDA's started becoming obsolete back in the 1st 1/2 of 2000 after the Blackberry debuted along with WinMobile phones. By the time iPhone came around, PDA's were already dead.
  4. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I agree. I think the Blackberry is really what did it, especially since most PDA users were business users.
  5. TapHappy thread starter macrumors regular

    May 21, 2009
    Palm sold a lot of PDA's to consumers all the way up till 2006. The span between 2005 - 2007 seems to been when things started to fall apart.

    I think Blackberry and Palm Treos started to catch on. When iPhone came out in 2007 it redefined what a "smart phone" could do.
  6. seajay96 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    Umm, seriously? The iPhone and all smartphones, really, are a natural evolution of the PDA. PDAs aren't dead, they're just much, much more capable today and changed their name so that everyone can have one and not feel like a geek :)
  7. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Before the iphone came out, I was considering a blackberry and ipod. The blackberry, with its combined function of PDA and phone, was what brought about the downfall of the standalone PDA. I'm sure the iphone helped hammer the final nails in the standalone PDA's coffin.
  8. Savor Suspended


    Jun 18, 2010

    Symbian, BlackBerry, WinMo, & Treos are responsible for all that. Pretty much the early boon of smartphones from 2002-2006 killed off PDA. Now it seems like we argue about the accidental rivalry between Apple vs Google. It was only 5 years ago when RIM and WinMo were the dominant players in NA and Nokia was dominating the rest of the world with their E & N-Series. Remember that cool swivel of the N90 or the amazing audio quality of the N91? Symbian technically is still #1 market leader for smartphones, but it just seems so dated now. Nokia and RIM had their moment in the sun. Maybe by 2015, another new king emerges from the shadows. Amazing how phones evolved from 2000 through 2005. Then from 2005 through now. I'm looking forward to what 2015 and 2020 will bring us. Looking forward to the RIM BlackBerry Playbook. QNX = Return of the king?
  9. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
    ^^^ it was the Blackberry ... then the rest followed :cool:
  10. gtmac macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2010
    ^^^ this

    Plus the Treo and blackberry replaced Palm devices. I had many Palm devices including the palm 7 which had wireless capabilities. It was killer back then!
  11. ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.2.1; en-gb; Nexus One Build/FRG83D) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1)

    The SonyEricsson P900 (onwards) did it for me. I think the death of the PDA started to happen before the iPhone but the iPhone sure didn't help. :)
  12. Padraig macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2005

    Not really, it wasn't until the appstore in 2008 that the iPhone's potential for replacing PDA functionality started to take off, before that it was even a fairly poor personal organiser. By that late stage the stand alone PDA had been killed off years before by other devices.
  13. Tarzanman macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    PDA's sucking and not being any more convenient than laptops (for what they did) is what killed them off.

    Blackberry phones put an accent on their fall from grace.

    PDAs are coming back in the form of mobile tablets
  14. molala macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Cambridge, UK
    I had a Palm PDA before I owned a mobile phone – Handspring Visor in 2000 then a Sony Clie. Even owned a Treo and a Centro smartphone. I really liked Palm OS and stayed with it longer than most people. Palm just started lagging behind other smart phones, for instance it took them forever to have WiFi.

    I suppose the iPod Touch is the current Palm Pilot.
  15. greygray macrumors 68000


    Oct 22, 2009
    I still have a Palm Pilot that still works, though the screen has a long scratch and it affects the sensitivity of the stylus! :)
  16. thelatinist macrumors 603


    Aug 15, 2009
    Connecticut, USA
    You're really creating a false dichotomy here, trying to draw a bright line between PDAs and Smart Phones, when it could just as easily be argued that smart phones are merely more advanced and connected PDAs. There's been a continuous evolution in form from the completely unconnected early Palm products through the email-only early Blackberry devices, to the later phone & email products from Samsung and Blackberry and Palm, to the touch screen media-capable devices that the iPhone spawned. The PDA is alive and well, and more capable than ever.
  17. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    True, I myself made the transition from a palm running palm OS (probably the palm 650) to the windows palm 700wx. Then things went forward from there and we started seeing many more phones of the type. Somewhere a long the line the stylus got dropped. Features improved, but a lot of the core remained. Evolution.
  18. wikoogle macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    No, they really weren't.

    I work in the medical field. Before the iPhone came around, everyone used PDAs. It was the best way to look up meds, do medical calculations and formularies.

    Nowadays, every single doctor I know has an iPhone with Epocrates installed on it, and that's what they use. And anyone that doesn't, still uses a PDA instead (yes I still see PDAs these days, but only on people without smartphones).
  19. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Apr 14, 2010
    Washington State
    Yeah, they were. I had an iPaq around then and didn't get the iphone til the 3G version. Oh, and I sold that iPaq this year (been sitting around) for around 140 dollars so people still even buy them (at least used).
  20. ctt1wbw macrumors 68000


    Jan 17, 2008
    Seaford VA
    Isn't the iPhone a PDA? PDA is not a name for the Palm Pilot. Palm never made a product called "PDA". It's a generic term, like PC. The iPad is a PDA and so is the iPod Touch, in the very definition of the term PDA.
  21. TapHappy thread starter macrumors regular

    May 21, 2009
    Wow Handspring! Forgot all about them!
  22. TapHappy thread starter macrumors regular

    May 21, 2009
    Great point. When I think of the traditional PDA being a standalone device the closest thing to it is the iPod Touch. One could argue the iPad is a PDA.
  23. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    PDAs were designed more for things like appointments, contacts, office docs, etc: Stuff that didn't require the amount of storage or memory that we use today. Bascailly it was a personal manager. Oh yea, almost forgot one of it's main purposes was to sync. I remember having an old Palm B&W screen PDA. It was great for handwritten notes on the fly and sync all my contacts.

    By the time PDAs became so advanced, the need for them kind of diminished. The average flip phone was able to handle most of the tasks like calendar, contacts, notes, time, and so on. And then you had Blackberry.
  24. studmule macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2010
    I also had the Palm 7! Ahhhh, those were the good old days.
  25. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    Great topic to remember back to the old days!

    Like the other OP, many medical professionals (and business professionals) swore by PDAs back in the early 2000s.

    I would say the PDA market "peaked" around 2001-2003 when new models were being brought into the market every 3-4 months, with each manufactuer claiming to have the latest greatest. The beginning of the end for standalone PDAs probably happened in 2003-2004. We had a couple of major things happening. First the war between Palm OS and Windows CE/Mobile and MSFT was clearly starting to win. HP purchased Compaq and really didn't do much to Compaq's best selling iPaq models. They basically made a couple of new updates but didn't invest the time into the iPaq models. The killer for Palm was lack of 3rd party license partners. Sony discontinued their Clie models in 2004.....and Palm OS war with Microsoft was essentially ended. We all know when Microsoft wins, they stopped innovating. Than we were all stuck with Windows Mobiles even on our Palm Treo devices because the Palm OS had lacked 3rd party support.

    But I don't think the iPhone killed the PDA. More like the iPhone took the smartphone market to a new level. The iPhone really reinvented everything that a personal smartphone should be able to do and it's still a fluid market. Everyone has had to play catch up to Apple.

    Google has been the most active in it's approach. Microsoft essentially botched everything. It usually takes 2 years to build a new OS. iPhone was introduced in Jan 2007. But MSFT was trying to save money and rig their aging Windows Mobile to become touch screen friendly. It took them about a year and a half to ditch that plan. That's why they didn't announce Windows 7 mobile into late 2008 and it took another 2 years to build the new OS. Palm's WebOS is probably the 2nd best mobile OS but they lacked financial means until HP purchased them.

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