At MBC09, the same question came up again and again as we demonstrated the MIDs. ‘Why do I need another device between a laptop and a mobile phone.’ It’s a valid question but one that is slightly polarised towards thinking about phones and PCs. What many people don’t realise is that there is a raft of devices and gadgets around them that already sit in this middle-tier space. Not only does a full web experience become an opportunity but if you look at all the other gadgets, turning these into mobile Internet devices and even consolidating some of them into a single device gives you a better picture of what the ‘middle tier’ could look like.
Rather than write a thousand words on the subject, I scribbled my idea into diagram form…
The diagram simply shows all the middle-tier gadgets and how they are becoming Internet-connected. Many of these devices will never make it onto a small phone simply because of physics. Media players, web tablets, interactive TV, gaming devices, e-book readers and navigation devices. All of these need 4-6" screens for a high-quality experience and they won’t fit on a smartphone.
There’s a huge opportunity out there for a middle-tier consumer gadget.