Can the news get much worse for makers of handheld computers? According to a study published this week by researcher IDC, sales of personal digital assistants, such as palmOne's
palmOne beat out competitors Hewlett-Packard
The problem is smartphones. Popular devices such as Research In Motion's
Clearly, the market is in the midst of a dramatic shift away from PDAs, except in cases where the devices are designed to fulfill a specific task -- as a global positioning system, for example. That's bad news for palmOne, but at least it has a very popular smartphone to fall back on in the Treo. HP, the No. 3 mobile-device vendor according to Canalys, has no such cushion. Nor does Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Dell.
And that's what makes me wonder whether the palmOne news is actually good. Seriously. People have made fortunes by investing in unloved stocks of good companies in rotten industries. Remember Nucor
For related Foolishness:
- palmOne may be down, but is it out?
- Maybe getting smart will help palmOne get by.
- But it won't be easy: Research In Motion signed 1 million customers in just nine months.
- Is there a resurgence at hand at Nokia?
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers has so far refused to buy a smartphone, but that doesn't seem to be stopping everyone else. Find out what all the fuss is about at our palmOne and Research In Motion discussion boards. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. You can also see what's in Tim's portfolio by checking out his Fool profile. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.