Sony Drops PDAs

It was not too long ago that having a personal digital assistant (PDA) was a necessity for executives, professionals, and salesmen on the go who needed quick access to contacts and schedules, among other vital bits of information – and oftentimes, the PDA of choice was made by Sony, which currently enjoys a 13% share of the world market for PDAs.

Now, however, despite an increase in wireless Internet connectivity, and other enabling technologies, the PDA market is in decline, due to consumer's overwhelming adoption of mobile phones – many of which have the same capabilities of PDAs, as well as the ability to make phone calls – and in response to this market shift, Sony has decided to stop selling PDAs outside of the strong Japanese market.

According to Sony, "We consider mobile (phone) devices a key aspect of our strategy to converge contents like music, movies and games with hardware and converge contents like music, movies and games with hardware."

This convergence of technologies is driven in part by many consumer's desire to carry a single, "all in one" device.

According to IDC analyst Alex Slawsby, "As mobile phones bring on board more and more capabilities of the PDA, there is a growing segment of consumers that would just rather buy a phone and only carry one device."

While the increase in mobile phone capabilities is good news for consumers, Sony's exit from the market isn't good news for everyone.

PalmSource, providers of the operating system which drives Sony PDAs, saw an immediate 12% drop in the firm's share price. While acknowledging the declining market for PDAs, there is still a future for PalmSource whose software is included in many of the latest mobile phones.