October 2005: PalmOS has lost its lead, but not to Windows Mobile. The RIM
Blackberry is now the market leader in PDAs! This would have seemed
impossible in 2001, when Palm outsold RIM by about 10 to 1. But Palm
fumbled a 5-year lead, missing every conceivable opportunity. However, Palm
remains the most user-friendly, and hence the favorite for individual and
small business users. RIM is more a business device, and Windows Mobile
continues to languish.
March 2004: Palm OS still has a narrow lead in
PDAs & smartphones. PalmSource and Microsoft both undertake misleading
"independent" analyst studies by Gartner, IDC and similar, making this
determination a bit difficult.
My PDA research is done in airports. Walk through the
terminal and watch what people are doing -- you'll quickly get a clear
picture of how people use mobile devices.
Based upon that informal research, any observer quickly concludes two
things: first, actual Palm USERS (not buyers) outnumber Windows Mobile
users by about 10 to 1; second, cell phone users outnumber Palm users by at
least 20 to 1. Since software sales are based upon actual device use, this
is a valuable observation.