When the term “PDA” was first used, it was often applied to handheld computers. The Psion Organiser and Sharp Wizard were early PDAs with keyboards and displays that resembled the modern-day computer. The original PDAs included calculators, specialized software, and some basic features. Today, PDAs come with many useful functions and can serve as a personal computer, a mobile phone, a global positioning system unit, or a digital camera.
Most PDAs do not have a hard drive, instead relying on a microprocessor to coordinate all of the machine’s functions. While PDA microprocessors are slower than their PC counterparts, they are adequate for many PDA tasks. However, the size and price of PDAs limit their computing power, so they are often compared with laptops and desktops. To make matters worse, PDAs draw a modest amount of power from their batteries when not in use.
Today, there are two major segments of the PDA market. PalmPilot is the leader in the market, with about two-thirds of the market. Others include HP, Sharp, Compaq, and Philips. Most PDAs run Windows CE, while the PalmPilot line runs Palm OS. The PDA market is rapidly becoming a huge market for wireless operation support systems. In the future, this market will likely become a unified standard.
Today’s PDAs have undergone rapid technological progress, and it is crucial to analyze the future of the market. However, the high degree of uncertainty makes it difficult to predict what will happen next. The analysis needs to take into account the m&a activity in the industry. 3Com acquired Lanworks Technologies, Inc. and EuPhonics, Inc. In addition, Cisco Systems and Northern Telecom have acquired several companies.
Since the first PDA was introduced, the concept has continued to develop. Apple Computer introduced the Newton MessagePad in 1993. Other manufacturers followed suit and began offering similar products. The most popular PDA brand today is Palm Pilots. It features a stylus and touch screen. Mobile phones have also integrated organizers, and recently developed hardware is becoming increasingly smaller and more portable. The newer PDAs are capable of performing more advanced functions than their predecessors.
When purchasing a PDA, consider what you plan to use it for. Are you going to use it to keep your PIM information and replace your paper Day-Timer? If so, you might not require Wi-Fi connectivity or cellular data service. Then again, you may want a device with cellular data service, a Wi-Fi capability, and a wireless network. But the main question remains: Is PDA type of a computer?
The price of a PDA can vary wildly. Some can cost as low as $100, while others can exceed $600. The higher the price, the better the capabilities and features. However, there are a few factors to consider before purchasing a PDA. One of these is the amount of memory that you plan on using. If you intend to use it for extensive communication, you should be sure to consider the size of your RAM and the battery.