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PDAs facing extinction

A little more than a year ago, questions were raised about the PDA's ability to survive after Sony abandoned its handheld business in the United States. This week, those prospects seemed to hit a new low.


The partnership announced Monday between Palm and Microsoft--once bitter rivals in the market--was largely viewed as a consolidation that only confirmed the fading fortunes of the PDA market. Then just days later, after Blackberry maker Research in Motion reported a 57 percent jump in quarterly profits, its stock price dropped sharply because it also said subscriber growth would fall short of expectations.

How long can the PDA remain a viable product in the rapid convergence of phones, cameras, handhelds, music players and even personal computers?

Blog community response:

"(Palm is) completely screwed at this point. They will be completely unable to compete with the cell phone companies, and by switching to Microsoft's mobile OS, they just lost their last competitive edge. Niche player within 2 years, out of business, bought out within five. Sad day."
--thak's cool links

"I was considering replacing my Palm IIIc with a Treo, but it looked too expensive to justify. I realized that the feature I really wanted was a decent camera in the phone. I found the best compromise of cost and function looked like the Sony Ericsson K700i."

"Say what you will about the Treo 700w, et al but the Blackberry remains the standard for mobile e-mail. Things could really interesting if RIM can upgrade the Blackberry's telephone and Web browser."
--Mark Evans

"Palm was doomed once Microsoft decided to dominate its market. But the real 'nail in the coffin' comes from another substantial player in the industry. RIM's decision to start using Intel processors in its Blackberry devices also has an impact on the handheld market's direction."
--The Broadside