RealTime IT News

Palm OS Claims Lion's Share

A recent study by retail market analyst NPDTechworld indicates that Palm OS applications take the cake when it comes to the amount and type of handheld software sold in the U.S.

Palm OS-based applications accounted for more than 97 percent of all handheld software titles sold in 2001, naming PalmSource, Inc., a subsidiary of Palm, Inc. as the number one maker of handheld applications.

The NPDT study pinpointed a significant increase in portable software sales in 2001 to a record number of 900,00 titles sold, up from a mere 225,000 titles sold in 2000. Retail revenue for handheld applications soared to $27 million, as opposed to $15 million in last year's study.

According to the study, gaming applications took the market share of sales, ringing in at 350,000 units sold. Business and organizer applications were a close second.

"It was a great year for handhelds, which ultimately resulted in a blockbuster year for portable software," said Steve Koenig, senior software analyst for NPDTechworld. "Consumers discovered that handhelds have more functionality than storing a calendar and contacts. They have become a direct extension of the PC."

The NPDT study also indicates that increased competition in the handheld market has reduced the average selling price of handheld software. The study noted a $12 decline per application in 2001. The average selling price for handheld software was $30 in 2001, down from $42 in 2000.

"The portable software category continues to heat up," said Koenig, "and we anticipate that prices will continue to drop. As handhelds become more powerful and the utility of these devices increase, software publishers will likely focus their development and marketing efforts on this key growth segment."

New York-based NPDTechworld is a global information company that measures product movement and consumer behavior within a span of industries that include fashion, food, consumer electronics, information technology, software, and automotive.