PDA – RIP

The technology historians are about to notch the gadget timeline with a closing notch for the PDA. It’s hard to say when the opening notch was placed, depends on your perspective – for me it was back in 92 when Palm Computing was formed by Jeff Hawkins. A USRobotics Pilot was the first PDA I owned and if I remember correctly it cost more than $300 and it had a fairly limited feature set. The last PDA I owned was a Toshiba E740 PocketPC – it had a fairly sophisticated feature set including WiFi capabilities and Bluetooth support.
Toshiba, and more recently Sony, have already exited the PDA business and I think it’s only a matter of time before DELL and HP/Compaq exit. PDA sales declined for the third straight year in 2004 according to IDC and the recent exit of Sony from the business isn’t going to help – marketing dollars from Sony and Toshiba (now gone) helped support the market. What’s replacing the PDA?
A more full-featured cell phone (complete with a camera) replaced my PDA and I haven’t looked back. I think consumers are overwhelmed with technology and declining PDA sales represent the backlash and an effort to simplify lifestyles. I wasn’t really using my PDA for anything other than managing my contacts – everything else could wait until I had the time to jump on a desktop or a laptop. Browsing the web via the PDA or word-processing via the PDA never panned out and smaller more powerful laptops didn’t help either.
So farewell PDA – your closing notch is coming, it was fun while it lasted.
PDA timeline

Related posts:

  1. Belkin Charger for LIL’ PIM
  2. Verdict – E740 Hard Case
  3. Announcing – LIL PIM
  4. Where’s the Exit?
  5. My Pocket PC Has a Partner

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palmIT is authored by Cale Bruckner [LinkedIn], President at Concentric Sky, and former SVP Product Development at Palo Alto Software.

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