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MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,522
17,868
MacCentral reports on an IDC marketing research that states that Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) may not be the growth area as once thought.

The research firm predicts "limited growth" over the next year, partly due to the emergance of convergence devices such as cell phones.

Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, has had made similar comments in the past when previously questioned about the possibility of Apple releasing another PDA.
 

tizza

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2003
153
0
Brisbane, Australia
I'd have to agree with this. I mainly just use my Palm for synching with my calendar and contacts, but if a mobile phone can have all this on it too - why bother with a clunky PDA??
 

Powerbook G5

macrumors 68040
Jun 23, 2003
3,974
1
St Augustine, FL
I agree, I can already sync calendar appointments, memos, do voice recording, have a phone book, play games, makes calls, text message, IM, email, etc with my cell phone, so it seems pointless for me to get a PDA.
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
3,681
665
Colly-fornia
I actually posted something just like this earlier today. The only thing I can really think of that I need a palm pilot for would be for typing for an extended period of time without power. For just about everything else, I could use a mobile phone and/or my laptop. I guess if you are using a desktop there might be some uses for a palm, but they are getting to be fewer as phones get more feature-rich.
 

granex

macrumors member
Jul 23, 2002
82
0
Palm phone

For a while it looked like Palm was going to try to morph into a phone, with wireless communication. They were too slow, and now the phone companies have overtaken them because they do this essential function much better.

I've actually never looked into these phones (although I see people using them all the time now). Does Palm make money off of the use of the PamOS on these things? Do they all run PalmOS. Has WindowsCE made it onto phones? -- Sure I want to write a paper on the phone using WordCE :)
 

Vector

macrumors 6502a
Feb 13, 2002
835
1
I bought a palm vx and barely used it. It was only good for contacts and was a pain to write notes with. I have it in a box under my desk collecting dust because it is basically useless to me. I can see how some might need PDAs, but for most they are not worth it when a phone or another device already has the same features. I use my new iPod to keep my calender and contacts and my t616 to keep contacts and anything else i need. If i need to do anything more than to look at my schedule or find someone's number i have my laptop.
 

vollspacken

macrumors 65816
Oct 17, 2002
1,130
0
Boogie-Down Berlintown
my dad has a compaq PDA that also works as a mobile phone - pretty big for a phone though but you got the best of both worlds in one device for the sacrifice of size...

and BTW, who needs a new PDA from Apple when you can get the best PDA there is:
a Newton 2100

vSpacken
 

fred

macrumors member
Dec 24, 2002
55
0
Don't believe for one second that PDAs will die....look at the new Nitrus MP3 player just introduced by Rio with its 1.5 gig tiny hard drive. These things are slated to find their way into PDAs real soon ...what will that do to iPod sales ?

Every major computer manufacturer has a PDA...everyone except Apple that is. Let's face it folks Apple doesn't have the resources to be a major player in the hardware market à la Sony or Dell...

The iPod is great but Apple is too cautious for its own good.....they should have integrated PDA functionality, video functionality, FM tuner and FM broadcaster. Heck Sony have introduced so many PDAs with tons of features it makes your head spin.
 

mistersquid

macrumors newbie
Apr 9, 2003
21
0
Athens, OH
PDAs were must-have gadgets when everyone imagined they had to be connected to their data 24/7, but after the dot-com bust, it became apparent to everybody that having unlinked information was pretty useless. While wireless connections hold promise, they won't really be useful until PDAs can provide information relevant to their locations. For example, imagine turning on your PDA in a new city and being able to locate the nearest vegan restaurant, or whatever might be your particular need. This old idea just hasn't taken off yet.

Even if it did, those who have posted above that cell phones have usurped PDAs by incorporating the latter's functionality have it exactly right. One day, cell phones may be able to tell us where the nearest shoe store is.

PDAs have always seemed to me a good way to guarantee that you had to carry around this inconveniently-shaped and -sized object in the event of an emergency. Even during the dot-com boom, when people showed me their nifty PDAs I'd nod and smile all the while thinking how absolutely useless and cumbersome such a gadget would be.
 

barhoptheworld

macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2003
7
0
Pocket PC

A few years ago I bought a cassiopeia pocket pc and I have to admit (reluctantly) that the pocket pc OS was leaps and bounds over any palm os. There was still plenty of room for improvement but it was much better than any other option. The need for PDAs is dieing fast as phones catch up. If someone could combine the ergonomics of a phone, the input area of a quality PDA, and ease of use of lets say... OS X, it would be an ustopable product. Add in scalability (a la pro vs. consumer model) and it would take the tech world by storm (ipod style).
 

MoparShaha

Contributor
May 15, 2003
1,646
38
San Francisco
Originally posted by mistersquid
Even if it did, those who have posted above that cell phones have usurped PDAs by incorporating the latter's functionality have it exactly right. One day, cell phones may be able to tell us where the nearest shoe store is.
In Japan they already have phones that do this. We're way behind here in the US.
 

mymemory

macrumors 68020
May 9, 2001
2,495
-1
Miami
If I get a PDA if for Phone numbers and a Calculator but my cellphone do that already, so, there is not need for a PDA then.
 

justytylor

macrumors newbie
Sep 9, 2002
24
0
Washington, DC
You just reminded me of the computer I want:

Originally posted by mistersquid
Even if it did, those who have posted above that cell phones have usurped PDAs by incorporating the latter's functionality have it exactly right. One day, cell phones may be able to tell us where the nearest shoe store is.

Anybody here ever read William Gibson's Idoru? You, my friend, just described a Sandbenders...
 

4409723

Suspended
Jun 22, 2001
2,221
0
Originally posted by fred

The iPod is great but Apple is too cautious for its own good.....they should have integrated PDA functionality, video functionality, FM tuner and FM broadcaster. Heck Sony have introduced so many PDAs with tons of features it makes your head spin.

Would you like to carry the battery to power the thing for 10 hours on a classy apple hydraulic shoulder mount, or just to have it roll around on wheels behind you?
 

SiliconAddict

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2003
5,889
0
Chicago, IL
Hmmm I think not.

Bull....

I do as much with my Pocket PC as I do with my laptop. I was in BWI about a month ago and it was about 10 minutes until my flight was boarding. Instead of pulling out the laptop and powering it up I snagged my Jornada popped in my wifi card, detected the network and away I went. (Took all of like 15 seconds to get on the network.) I accessed my home server from BWI and downloaded a few MP3's that I wanted while on the flight. While on said flight I read a novel that I had downloaded via the browser while waiting for my flight from Mpls international.

If sales of PDA's are falling its because there are no longer any must have features on them anymore. PDA's fall into 2 categories. The basic devices like your Palm III's and IV's of the world and your highly functional iPaq's and Clie's of the world.
Everyone who has a Palm III and IV have it for one reason. As an organizer. For the basics. These people don't need the bells and whistles and are content to stay on 3+ year old tech.

The power users of the world always crave more. And like it or not there IS a market for these people and there is plenty of room to grow. I've convinced more people then I can count to purchase a iPaq 1910 and now the 1940 series because these are excellent devices that allow you some of the basic functionality of a desktop\laptop in your pocket.

Then there is the smart phone. I've discussed this topic over and over again with people that believe that smart phones are where its at. It isn't. Smart phones are nice but too limiting on data input and in the functionality category. What you are going to eventually see is smaller versions of this:

ti_wanda_01.jpg


This is a reference design by TI. There is no frame of ref for the size of the device but rest assured its small and light. I firmly believe cell phones are going to be integrated into PDA's rather then PDA's into cell phones. People like working with there data on the go. A cell phone shape and design isn’t conducive to data manipulation\input.
 

bikertwin

macrumors regular
Nov 6, 2002
198
0
This Old House
It all depends

Until the third generation just got slimmed, the iPods were considerably clunkier than any PDA. Sony Clies were to iPods & WindowsCE devices what Titanium PowerBooks were to Windows laptops: While large in width or height, they were much thinner which makes for much easier carrying and storing in nooks.

A Sony Clie is iLife+iApps+AppleWorks, miniaturized: I can organize photos and play slideshows (iPhoto), listen to MP3s (iTunes), edit Word and Excel documents (AppleWorks), view and edit appointments (iCal) & contacts (AddressBook), etc.

Now, before anyone states the obvious: no, you're not going to run a business using Excel spreadsheets on your Clie, nor are you going to write the next great novel or have room to store 30GB of songs.

However, as an in-between supplement to a Mac, they're really great things to have around. Plus they sync up great with iSync, and integrate with iPhoto and iTunes with the Missing Sync.

The problem with phones is that the screen is just too small. Maybe a folding or virtual screen would help phones.

No, PDAs aren't for everyone, but then Macs aren't either. ;)

<edit>
Looks like SiliconAddict and I were thinking the same thing at the same time.
</edit>
 

fred

macrumors member
Dec 24, 2002
55
0
It all comes down to this: Apple is no Sony....

Just because the Newton failed (actually it didn't but that's a whole other story) Apple abandons a category it practically invented. Heck Sony's first PDA model was a dog....yet Sony persevered....
 

Timothy

macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2002
473
0
Seattle, WA
These stories always crack me up. The PDA will NEVER go away. NEVER.

The majority of the current-batch PDAs are toys, and yes, as such, are not worth much.

Most people who owned and used Newtons during their time have a much different perspective on the PDA concept. My Newton/Ricochet modem combination was light-years ahead, technologically, compared to what is offered me now in the PDA market, and that was 5 years ago. It was a useful tool that I miss dearly.

If Steve Jobs has no vision of the PDA in the future, it is not prophetic, but rather, simply, a lack, of vision. Hey...he's great on many things, but just dead-wrong on this one, despite what the market is doing.

I'm still waiting for a genius with vision to break the PDA market wide open. It will happen.

Dead? Hardly. Just waiting.
 

NavyIntel007

macrumors 65816
Nov 24, 2002
1,081
0
Tampa, FL
The problem with US smartphones is that they are dated technology compared to what's available to the rest of the world. I have the Tungsten C because I wanted a powerful organiser that I could view my pictures off of my SD card from my camera. I needed a place to keep my schedule and write and keep notes and sync it with my mac. I also wanted something that wasn't rediculously behind the times. I'm on Sprint POS. There are four phones that will sync with a mac on sprint. Two brick-style samsungs, a flip samsung and the treo. All rebranding old technology. The flip phone looks unweildy and the other three have no SD slot. The smartphones availible now are too big. That's why i have a Tungsten C.

Possibly, my next, next cell phone will be a smart phone... but not yet.
 

rlreif

macrumors regular
Jul 13, 2003
142
0
Vancouver
Re: Hmmm I think not.

Originally posted by SiliconAddict
Bull....

I do as much with my Pocket PC as I do with my laptop. I was in BWI about a month ago and it was about 10 minutes until my flight was boarding. Instead of pulling out the laptop and powering it up I snagged my Jornada popped in my wifi card, detected the network and away I went. (Took all of like 15 seconds to get on the network.) I accessed my home server from BWI and downloaded a few MP3's that I wanted while on the flight. While on said flight I read a novel that I had downloaded via the browser while waiting for my flight from Mpls international.

If sales of PDA's are falling its because there are no longer any must have features on them anymore. PDA's fall into 2 categories. The basic devices like your Palm III's and IV's of the world and your highly functional iPaq's and Clie's of the world.
Everyone who has a Palm III and IV have it for one reason. As an organizer. For the basics. These people don't need the bells and whistles and are content to stay on 3+ year old tech.

The power users of the world always crave more. And like it or not there IS a market for these people and there is plenty of room to grow. I've convinced more people then I can count to purchase a iPaq 1910 and now the 1940 series because these are excellent devices that allow you some of the basic functionality of a desktop\laptop in your pocket.

Then there is the smart phone. I've discussed this topic over and over again with people that believe that smart phones are where its at. It isn't. Smart phones are nice but too limiting on data input and in the functionality category. What you are going to eventually see is smaller versions of this:

ti_wanda_01.jpg


This is a reference design by TI. There is no frame of ref for the size of the device but rest assured its small and light. I firmly believe cell phones are going to be integrated into PDA's rather then PDA's into cell phones. People like working with there data on the go. A cell phone shape and design isn’t conducive to data manipulation\input.

can an ipaq sync with OSX??
 

fred

macrumors member
Dec 24, 2002
55
0
It all comes down to this: Apple is no Sony....

Just because the Newton failed (actually it didn't but that's a whole other story) Apple abandons a category it practically invented. Heck Sony's first PDA model was a dog....yet Sony persevered....
 
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