Handheld Device Market Continues to Shrink

Market research firm IDC offered up some bleak numbers for the makers of handheld PDAs and personal information managers (PIMs) driven by pens or keypads: worldwide shipments slumped to 5.5 million units in 2005, with just 1.5 million units shipped in the final quarter of 2006. The numbers represent a decline of 28.5 percent when comparing 2006 to 2005; if you take just the final quarter of those years, the numbers represent a 35.9 percent decline. And IDC only expects the trend to continue during 2007.

What’s crushing the market for handheld devices? Well, everything. Smartphones are getting more and more PDA- and PIM-like features, plus offering wireless networking, multimedia, and Bluetooth. Notebook computers with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G networking capability are letting more people take their whole computers on the road, and even GPS units and iPods are nudging into the handheld device space, offering contact and calendar tools along with media playback capability.

“Handheld vendors have expanded their portfolios to include networked devices, and put greater focus on the latter,” says Ramon Llamas, an analyst with IDC’s Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team. “In some cases, a vendor has put more resources to developing its converged mobile device portfolio while its handheld device portfolio has remained largely unchanged. In other cases, a vendor’s total shipments for handheld devices have been less than for its personal navigation devices.”

The top five vendors of handheld devices were Palm, HP, Mio, Dell, and Acer; of those five, only Mio saw both a quarterly and year-on-year increase in shipments, managing to unseat Dell for the number three spot during the fourth quarter of 2006. (If you haven’t heard of them, don’t be alarmed: most of Mio’s products are sold in Europe and Asia.) Year-on-year numbers for other handheld device makers were uniformly depressing, with market leader Palm seeing a decline in shipments of more than 28 percent.

Smart Home

The best smart locks to increase your home security in 2019

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for March 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.
Product Review

The new iPad Mini isn’t a beauty, but it performs like a beast

Apple’s new iPad Mini has beastly performance, fluid iOS 12 software, and good battery life. It also looks like it came straight out of 2015, because the design hasn’t been changed. Here's our review of Apple’s 7.9-inch tablet.

Wring the most out of iOS with the best commands for Siri

You may not know all the things you can say to Siri -- after all, Apple never released an official list of commands for its virtual assistant. Thankfully, we've compiled a list of the best Siri commands to help you out.

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.

Alpina makes its AlpinerX smartwatch even more attractive with new colors

Alpina has introduced four new colors to its AlpinerX smartwatch range, breaking the usually sporty watch out into a more everyday casual design, and given the tech a slight makeover too.

New gold finish makes Frederique Constant’s hybrid smartwatch flashier than ever

Frederique Constant has found considerable success with its luxury hybrid smartwatch, the Hybrid Manufacture, and has launched several new color schemes to help bring it even more attention.

Tag Heuer’s Golf Edition smartwatch is a lot more than just a flash of new color

Tag Heuer's Golf Edition Connected Modular 45 smartwatch has a lot more going for it than just a flashy new color scheme. From the titanium body and black PVD coating to the new Golf app, this is a true special edition.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!