3 Million Zire Handhelds Sold and Counting

palmOne has announced they have sold more than 3 million Zire subbranded handhelds in fewer than 18 months, spurred by worldwide sales of the original $99 entry-level Zire and the Zire 71 handheld.

In October 2002, six years after pioneering the handheld market, palmOne introduced the Zire and Tungsten subbranded products to define a new era in handheld computing. Zire handhelds provide affordable, snappy personal products that are simple, approachable and easy-to-use for people balancing personal, professional or academic lives. Tungsten products provide powerful solutions for mobile professionals and businesses.

"The Zire subbrand business strategy is working," added Bradley. "Zire products are attracting new customers to the handheld category, increasing the palmOne market share, contributing to our handheld revenue and establishing a customer base for an upgrade business. And they've enabled palmOne to expand its sales channels worldwide."

The Zire handheld family has expanded quickly into consumer segments, broadening the market and delighting customers from students to seniors. The original Zire handheld sold more than 1 million units in the first seven months alone, making it the fastest-selling PDA ever. It attracted more than 70 percent new users to handheld category, and more than 50 percent were women, according to palmOne research. Additionally, 90 percent of the early buyers said they were not very tech-savvy, but price-conscious.

The media-rich Zire 71 handheld attracted nearly 40 percent new users to palmOne and was the No. 1 selling PDA in the United States until the introduction of palmOne's Tungsten E handheld in October 2003, according to palmOne. Its multimedia capabilities have high appeal for younger consumers and women. Based on research by palmOne, more than 80 percent of Zire 71 customers said they were extremely or very satisfied with their handheld and would recommend it to others.

The introduction of the original Pilot handheld from Palm in 1996 ignited a revolution in handheld computing around the world. The simplicity, tiny size, and long battery life of Palm products led to rapid adoption of the device and its successors. Last year, handhelds from palmOne commanded 39 percent of the worldwide personal companion handheld device market, according to IDC. During the last quarter of 2003, handhelds from palmOne led U.S. sales with 57 percent of sales across all channels, according to NPD Techworld.

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Where are all the critics?

alexp @ 4/22/2004 10:49:04 AM #
Remember all the posts on these boards renaming it the "Dire" and decrying the lack of a backlight, the 2mb, the fewer buttons, the plastic shell...?

I guess they ignored the fact that Price Matters, something Palm/pa1mOne has learned. Heck, I'm not going to get even a Zire71; I'm a T3 user and I want that level of functionality. But I'm not going to assume what I like in a PDA is not make-or-break for the millions of people who don't use one yet and still look at us as geeky for having them.

These people who've snapped up wireless phones like mad want something simple, easy, and small. Power is something a PDA user learns to appreciate; they don't immediately sense and want it.

RE: Where are all the critics?
cbowers @ 4/22/2004 4:37:47 PM #
"Remember all the posts on these boards renaming it the "Dire" and decrying the lack of a backlight, the 2mb, the fewer buttons, the plastic shell...?
I guess they ignored the fact that Price Matters, something Palm/pa1mOne has learned..."

No they just overestimated the AOL users (and that's tough to do). And take "Worldwide" with a grain of salt. The original Zire did not sell well in Canada, even though per capita Canada is a very strong market.

RE: Where are all the critics?
Strider_mt2k @ 4/23/2004 6:31:57 AM #
Yep, people will buy all sorts of crap when it's cheap.

RE: Where are all the critics?
a3 @ 4/23/2004 10:44:17 AM #
well I bought a Zire for my wife and she then bought a Z71 and gave the Zire to her younger sister. I think this is how the story may go in a lot of families... Now just wait until they start selling the Z21 with color screen...

Current fan of a 320x480 tablet shaped Palm with built in BT+Wifi for less than US$450
RE: Where are all the critics?
alexp @ 4/23/2004 3:02:02 PM #

A 320x480 tablet with BT+WiFi for <$450...

ah, PDA heaven. I looked at the iPaq 4155, but the screen res and PPC interface were deal-breakers.

Here's hoping the T4, or whatever it will be called, answers your call.

Lucky Bob @ 4/23/2004 4:53:47 PM #
"Yep, people will buy all sorts of crap when it's cheap."

I'm surprised that the other PDA manufacturers haven't figured this out.

(Why do some people say you can kill two birds with one stone when it's hard enough killing one bird with two stones?)

Get them Hooked

Doo @ 4/22/2004 11:10:38 AM #
PalmOne was like a crack dealer here. Give them a taste for free or super cheap i.e. the first Zire. Then, when the come back for the good stuff, T3 or Z71 and make your money. Once they find out how much a Palm can do, they will want more.

RE: Get them Hooked
Ronin @ 4/22/2004 3:19:18 PM #
"PalmOne was like a crack dealer here."

This has got to be the analogy in the history of analogies.

In the Spirit of Umoja,

RE: Get them Hooked
Ronin @ 4/22/2004 3:22:06 PM #
Sorry. The 'worst' analogy in the history of analogies.

In the Spirit of Umoja,

RE: Get them Hooked
Hal2000 @ 4/22/2004 8:13:08 PM #
Pa1mone was like a cheap whore here, one taste and you'll never forget.

1.128 gigs under the hood.
RE: Get them Hooked
Timothy Rapson @ 4/23/2004 8:09:52 PM #
PalmOne was like a cheap hooker and crack who got the crackers hooked on the dezire for a cheap PayDay. Yeah, that's the ticket.

RE: Get them Hooked
Timothy Rapson @ 4/23/2004 8:11:54 PM #
Oops! "cheap hooker on crack" not cheap hooker and crack.

RE: Get them Hooked
rcartwright @ 4/24/2004 11:45:27 AM #
>Pa1mone was like a cheap whore here, one taste and you'll never forget.<

"Tweeet!" Posting foul! Fifteen yards and loss of keyboard!

(actually it was kinda funny in a locker room sort of way.)

Life is a great adventure or nothing.

I'll be more impressed when I see a million Treos sold!!!

gfunkmagic @ 4/22/2004 7:22:02 PM #
And why not? If Sony Ericsson can sell a million P800/900's and Nokia can sell a kaboodles of 3650's, then I don't see why PalmOne shouldn't have similar target goals. PalmOne CEO Todd Bradley already stated that they planned on releasing a whole line of Treos ranging from "good, better and best." If PalmOne can duplicate the Zire success with an ultra low end and cheap Treo for <<$200 USD price point (before subsidzation), then IMO PalmOne can definitely achieve this! Free low end Treos with contracts would be absolutley awesome! Lets hope PalmOne can deliver...

I support http://Tapland.com/


RE: I'll be more impressed when I see a million Treos sold!!!
alexp @ 4/23/2004 3:04:07 PM #
I'm not holding my breath on that one. Not when the current Treo still retails for $600, and the best promos only bring it down to about $400.

I'll be very intrigued to see what Treos they can offer for $200 retail.

RE: I'll be more impressed when I see a million Treos sold!!!
Timothy Rapson @ 4/23/2004 8:13:56 PM #
Personally, I prefer the older Treo form factor to the new 600s. I like a PDA first and phone second.
But, any such model for $200 or free with contract would really sell in the millions of units per quarter.

RE: I'll be more impressed when I see a million Treos sold!!!
dona83 @ 4/25/2004 1:56:31 AM #
Hahahaha um no, I might as well wear a bright neon green t-shirt that says "I'm a super freak". Although I'd rather have those older Treo then my dad's 1993 model Motorola cellular phone. *smirk*


All the PDA's

euan_rideout @ 4/23/2004 3:12:06 PM #
I wonder how many PDA's were sold ever since the first PDA ever made? There must be a lot since there was 3 Million Zires sold. I have a Zire 71 and it is much better than my M130! I have brought PDA's in fassion in my school since everyone was so impressed in my Zire!
Zires are the BEST!!

RE: All the PDA's
TTrules @ 4/23/2004 6:58:55 PM #
If you want fasion, tunstens look a lot sleeker and cooler than zires do. Especially the tunsten t line.

One Palm to rule them all!
RE: All the PDA's
Timothy Rapson @ 4/23/2004 8:17:12 PM #
Palm has sold some 20+ million PDAs since they first opened. My guess is that all the rest of the PDAs since the start of the Palm were less than 10-12 million. So of the 30+ million of all PDAs ever sold 1/10th have been Zires. That is impressive. I could be way off on the overall market, but I am sure of Palm's claim to have recently passed the 20 million mark.

My First Zire and $99 models to come

Timothy Rapson @ 4/23/2004 8:20:30 PM #
I still can't believe they sold even a single one of those non-backlit, low-res, crippled PDAs. But, I guess I was not the target customer. Indeed, I wonder if ANYONE here at PIC has a mono-Zire. OK, someone's wife above had one, but even she quickly moved on to color.
But, I do find myself with a Zire 71. I still can't believe I gave up virtual Grafitti of my Sony NR70V. I just wanted the extra speed and memory expansion of an OS 5 model with a SD slot. The big plus for me was that it is much smaller than my NR. More comfortably sized and shaped than even a new TH55. And it was $118 after rebate from Internet Sears of all places. PalmOne has definitely opened new markets with the Target connection.

I am really disappointed that the new Zire 72 will still have hard grafitti. This week I had to pay $35 for FITALY Stamp for my Zire 71. I have no idea how people ever use Grafitti. It is maddening. Grafitti II is worse, far worse. The two stroke letters like T and K are three or four try per success projects. It is exhausting. Like Transcriber was on a PPC.

FITALY should be included with every Palm sold and it should come with a hot swappable virtual grafitti area like FITALY works on the PPCs. I am hopeful that the latest news of OS 6 including the ability to easily switch VG imput methods will bring this.

Anyway, due to the lame Grafitt II, I also got one of the very nice PalmOne (Stowaway rebadged) wireless keyboards. Love it.

Will a Zire with VG color and voice recorder ever make it to the $99 blister pack level? Well, if the $329 (original list) Zire 71 got down to $118 and the latest Zire 9(ith most all the features of the once $400 Palm V) can get down to $99, I have to think that one day I will just be able to buy a new fully functional PDA every year. What in the world will I do with the used ones?

RE: My First Zire and $99 models to come
Hal2000 @ 4/24/2004 12:59:41 AM #
What in the world will I do with the used ones?

My old Prism makes a nifty light up coaster - 64 thousand
different martini shades - wow!
320 x 480 sittin' around? You could light up a whole Grey goose bottle - the possibilities are endless.

1.128 gigs under the hood.

RE: My First Zire and $99 models to come
Strider_mt2k @ 4/25/2004 6:18:50 AM #
Don't overlook holding up the short leg of a table or couch.

RE: My First Zire and $99 models to come
svrontis @ 4/25/2004 7:29:12 PM #
Timothy Rapson,

You are obviously a sophisticated user and I think it's great that Palm can meet your requirements. All power to you.

But spare a thought for the average guy/girl, who has a million things to do, and for whom a paper based organiser just won't cut it anymore. Or what about someone who can't afford to spend $$$ every six months to get the latest and greatest handheld technology. For these users, a basic Zire unit can be an excellent choice. Those units are reliable, easy to use and they get the job done.

Remember too that these Zire products add to the bottom line. They give PalmSource and palmOne the cashflow needed do research and development, and to produce new products. So everyone benefits, indirectly, from each
and every Zire sold.

Let and let live. Ok?


RE: My First Zire and $99 models to come
Timothy Rapson @ 4/25/2004 8:16:12 PM #
Maybe my comments were not so clear.

I am happy to live and let live. But, the trend here is obvious. I will some day soon no longer be a $500 PDA geek. I already have come down to where I can get all the needs I used to get satisfied for $500 in a $118 Zire 71.

Some day that Zire 71's replacment will be a $99 Zire low end model. That amazes me. Even if I don't upgrade every year, in two years that $99 or who knows maybe even $49.95 model will have and do more than my 71. The more people there are who are willing to join in the Palm carrying corp because of these new price points the better for all of us. I LIKE the trend.



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