4.2 mln Taiwanese PDAs shipped in Q4 2005

Market Intelligence Center indicated that the Taiwanese PDA industry is expected to ship 4.2 mln units in Q4 2005, up 20% QTQ, pushed by the peak retail season. For the full year of 2005, shipment volume is forecasted at 13.7 mln units, representing annual growth of 52%. The production value is expected to reach $3,166 mln, a growth of 74% YTY. Q3 2005 shipment volume of the Taiwanese PDA industry hit 3.5 mln units, up 51.8% YTY and 8.7% sequentially, thanks to large orders for phone PDAs (Personal Digital Assistant) from Palm and HP and the continuing growth of GPS (Global Positioning System) PDA shipments.

ASP (Average Selling Price) dropped to $228 in Q3 2005, from Q2’s $235, due to Palm’s value-line PDA orders and the fact that older phone PDA models were approaching the end of their run, increasing the shipment share of models priced under $100 and models priced between $201-$350. As a result, shipment value reached $790 mln, only modest sequential growth of 6%, but ASP showed considerable growth in comparison with $179 in the same period 2004. Although brand-name vendors, such as HP, Dell, and Acer, reduced orders for pure PDAs, these PDAs benefited from large orders for Palm’s Z22, increasing its shipments to 975,000 units, for a share of 28.2%. After the shortage of Intel’s application processors was resolved in Q2 2005, shipments of GPS PDA with built-in GPS soared, leading to increased inventories in the channels. Consequently, in Q3 2005 GPS PDA shipments grew only slightly to 1.2 mln units, with the shipment share remaining at Q2’s level of 34.5%. Combined shipment volume of pure PDA and GPS PDA amounted to 2.2 mln units in Q3 2005, up 2.9% YTY and 7.8% sequentially.

The rollout of new phone PDA models featuring WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) 2000 1xEV-DO (Evolution Data Only) specifications at year-end will boost the phone PDA shipment volume to 1.6 mln units in Q4 2005, up 21% sequentially, for a 38% share of the overall volume. The effect of new products will continue into Q1 2006, helping to boost phone PDA shipment volume to an estimated 1.8 mln units. Due to the peak-season effect, GPS PDA shipment volume is expected hit 1.5 mln units in Q4 2005. In Q1 2006, the Western European market will enter the winter period, when travel activities will plunge. As a result, it is estimated that GPS PDA shipment volume will drop to 1.4 mln units, down 5.6% sequentially.

The Taiwanese PDA industry accounted for about 80% of worldwide production in Q3 2005. Europe and the United States were still the main markets for PDAs, absorbing over 95% of the shipment volume. GPS PDA shipments to the European market continued to rise, as Palm has started to ship its Treo 650 offering to Western European carriers since Q3 2005, boosting the shipment share for Europe to 58.4% in Q3 2005, up from the 31% during Q3 2004. By contrast, due to limited GPS PDA sales, the shipment share for the North American market plunged to 36.9%, down from the 64.4% during the same period 2004.