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All-In-One Handheld Device Dream Features

  |  September 28, 2004   |  Comments

Early-adopter users want plenty of bells and whistles along with the basics -- but don't change their OS.

What are the must-have features of the all-in-one handheld gizmo of your dreams?

That what the AvantGo 2004 Mobile Lifestyle survey asked 3,260 early technology adopters in a user survey conducted entirely via PDAs and smartphones over a two-week period this month.

In addition to standard PDA capabilities, messaging, wireless features and music functionalities rank higher on user wishlists than does having an integrated phone. The study also reveals tenacious brand loyalty. Eighty-five percent of Pocket PC owners and 82 percent of Palm owners say they'll stick with the same OS when they purchase a new device.

Nearly two out of three respondents said they planned to purchase a regular PDA, as opposed to one with phone capabilities, next time they buy. Thirty-one percent say they would buy a phone/PDA hybrid; a mere 3 percent would switch to a Symbian smartphone and 4.5 percent would migrate to a RIM Blackberry.

AvantGo 2004 Mobile Lifestyle Survey
All-In-One "Dream Device" Must-Haves
1. Calendar/Contact List 94%
2. Syncs Easily w/PC 91%
3. Great Battery Life 89%
4. E-Mail/Messaging 86%
5. Wi-Fi/Bluetooth 84%
6. Compact Size 80%
7. MP3 Player 77%
8. Phone 76%
9. Large Screen 73%
10. GPS Locator 65%
11. 20+ GB Memory 64%
12. Camera 63%
13. Video Player 56%
14. Great Gameplay 36%
15. Keyboard 31%
Source: iAnywhere

"Our findings seem to run counter to reports that the PDA is declining in popularity or that people are abandoning early platforms such as Palm for newer handheld platforms such as Pocket PC or Symbian," said Neil Versen, senior director of AvantGo at iAnywhere. "Survey results indicate that location-based applications are likely to fuel the next wave of handheld functionality, while feeding users' seemingly never-ending appetite for applications and add-ons to enhance their handheld experience. [This is] especially useful information for both handheld manufacturers and marketers interested in reaching that particular target audience."

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Rebecca Lieb

Rebecca was previously VP, U.S. operations of Econsultancy, an independent source of advice and insight on digital marketing and e-commerce. Earlier, she held executive marketing and communications positions at strategic e-services companies, including Siegel & Gale, and has worked in the same capacity for global entertainment and media companies, including Universal Television & Networks Group (formerly USA Networks International) and Bertelsmann's RTL Television. As a journalist, she's written on media for numerous publications, including "The New York Times" and "The Wall Street Journal." Rebecca spent five years as Variety's Berlin-based German/Eastern European bureau chief. Rebecca also taught at New York University's Center for Publishing, where she also served on the Electronic Publishing Advisory Group. Rebecca, author of "The Truth About Search Engine Optimization," was ClickZ's editor-in-chief for over seven years.

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