Dept. of Paid Shills

We were saying just Thursday that the “corporate thinktank analysts are devoid of credibility,” and then we see this:

A recent Gartner report gives new meaning to the old saw about “lies, damn lies and statistics.” Trumpeting the “fact” that RIM is the leading PDA vendor, the report gives the BlackBerry-maker a 20% market share, vs. 18% for PalmOne. The problem is, the report doesn’t include smartphones (something that’s mentioned in a footnote), which means that PalmOne’s hot-selling Treo 650 (pictured) isn’t included in that company’s rankings. Confused? It gets even stranger. According to an analysis of the study by Personal Tech Pipeline, Gartner included seven BlackBerry products that include cellphone capabilities. Additionally, the Nokia 9300 and 9500 — which certainly look like smartphones to us — are also included, allowing Nokia to be listed as the fourth-largest PDA vendor, behind RIM, PalmOne and HP. So who really has the largest market share? While we agree with PTP’s Mike Elgan that “the stand-alone PDA market is on its way to irrelevance,” we’d still like to know where each of these players really ranks. But it looks like we’re not going to find out from Gartner.

Was the check from RIM big, Gartner?

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