Japan's domestic shipments of personal digital assistant (PDA) hand-held computers decreased last year as individual demand ran its course and a slow economy dampened corporate demand, Gartner Japan Ltd. reported on Friday.
According to the research firm, PDA shipments in 2002 fell 21 percent from a year earlier to 680,000 units. However, Japan's PDA shipments are expected to grow 6.3 percent in 2003, partly because the expected entry of Dell Computer Corp. into Japan's PDA market by the middle of the year is likely to stir up individual demand for upgrades, Gartner Japan said.
Sony Corp. replaced Sharp Corp. as Japan's top PDA supplier in 2002 on the back of brisk demand for its high-end models equipped with keyboard and camera and low-priced versions that were launched in the third quarter. Sony's PDAs represented 21.8 percent of Japan's total PDA shipments in 2002, followed by Sharp and Casio Computer Co. Ltd.
According to Gartner Japan, PDAs have been slow to catch on in Japan because of the popularity of Internet-enabled color-screen cell phones that allow users to take photos, play games, and download news and entertainment content. Japan's domestic shipments of cell phone handsets totaled 40.5 million units in 2002. (Reuters)
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