The global handheld market continued to slide in 2004, with shipments slipping to below 10 million for the first time since 1999, according to a new IDC report. Update: The German division of T-Mobile today unveiled the latest addition to its venerable line of Windows Mobile based communicators, the MDA IV, with a swiveling VGA display and a 520 MHz Intel XScale. It offers not only GSM, GPRS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but also adds support for WCDMA-based 3G. It will also include two integrated cameras, as well as a unique swiveling screen concept. The device can either be used laptop-style with both its screen and integrated thumbboard accessible, or tablet-style with only its screen accessible. My take: This T-Mobile machine unveiled today is very important news in the phone/PDA world. This machine right there — with these crazy specs for a phone — is signaling the end of the PDA market and the beginning of the Microsoft domination in the high-end phone world.
Sure, there have been other Smartphones before, but this model shows a different future: one that can seal the fate of Danger and Palm’s in the longer run. If these Windows phones can come down in price to compete with other high-end phones (in the range of $200-$400), MS would “own” the communication OS world as well, before too long.
Also, HP anounced also today that it’s is joining the PDA/phone hybrid market, also with Windows Mobile, but their initial specs are nowhere as good as T-Mobile’s. In any case, this was a very eventful day for the PDA world and the future of the phone one.