How difficult is it to buy a MID?

Posted on 10 August 2009 by

mid As Sumocat has already pointed out, the results are hardly surprising. If you want to buy a MID in the US, you have to search very hard indeed.

ARS Technica took a list (supplied by Intel Marketing) of MIDs available in the U.S.  and went on a search. The list of device list was hardly complete…

  • Archos: 9″ Tablet
  • Clarion: MiND
  • Fujitsu: U820
  • Panasonic: U1 Toughbook, H1 Toughbook
  • UMID: M1
  • Yukyung Viliv: S5, X70EX

There’s only one place on the internet you’ll find a complete list of all UMPCs and MIDs so it’s easy to find the ones that were missing [Full list below] but that’s not the point of the story. The point of the ARS Technica article is that you can’t find many devices in normal channels. It’s true and it won’t change until distributors get some confidence that they can actually sell stock. This is an incredibly niche market we’re working in here and until better products reach the market with better operating systems and some marketing support from Intel, I don’t think anyone is going to be throwing thousands of dollars at marketing themselves and buying large amounts of stock.

I was speaking to Mobilx today and they have the same worry. There’s no point buying 500 MIDs until you see a no-risk demand that means you can shift stock in a reasonable amount of time. With companies like OQO, Raon Digital and Wibrain going out of business, that risk of being left with a shelf full of products that aren’t going to get marketing or after-sales support is way too high. We agreed that despite Windows XP being useful and productive, XP is boring is becoming a hurdle in the consumer market. That needs to change and that the time is running out. Intel needs to get Moblin/Moorestown products out ASAP because Android, Maemo and ARM have already reached the MID market.

On the bright side, don’t forget that US is not the primary market for MIDs and we’re very close to the main IDF event of the year which means all the news and marketing has already tailed off in preparation for the next wave. In just 6 weeks we should be getting updates on products, platforms and software and with voice-enabled Moorestown and Moblin, it’s a very different proposition this time round.

List of MIDs on next page…

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  • Steve ‘Chippy’ Paine

    New article: How difficult is it to buy a MID?

  • Matthew Sacks

    Retweeting @chippy: New article: How difficult is it to buy a MID?

  • Corrupted Mind

    Absolutely fantastic post Chippy. It is like you are reading my mind. Telepathically. I was just explaining to my fiance yesterday why I’m still PC-less. I wanted a viliv S5 with a 3G radio built in. Then OQO and Raon went down and my desire for something off-piste suddenly went away. Together with the “strange” payment options on Dynamism I have been well and truly put off remaining portable PC-less for 3 months. My newly found (age inspired) resistance to these newer (off piste) brands have literally hemmed me into a pen containing 3 MIDs/Netbooks (the Sony Vaio P, Asus T91 and Archos 9) not exactly inspiring eh?

  • Jonathan Cohen

    What about the ultracheap SmartQ 5 and 7?

    • Chippy

      The Smartq devices are ARM based. ARSTechnica were focusing on Intel-based MIDs. That said,i would include the SmartQ devices in the MID category.

  • Josef

    Is it easy in Germany? No. You need to import them and live with a english keyboard. I dont care, but a lot people do. Hope that the UMPC Market will grow up in Germany / Europe :-)

  • Stan

    It’s almost impossible to find any of these in Canada, unless purchased from the US. In Taiwan situation’s pretty similar, if not worse( they don’t seem to import anything from Korea). I loved the wibrain and was hoping for i1 so much, but in the end I bought Asus T91.
    Unfortunately, many people would prefer a smartphone over a MID these days.


    I think the point being missed is that most of the new high end smartphones are Mids. Case in point there are several devices slated to be released at the end of 2009,( which will be running the Snapdragon 1000 MHz processor. Most,if not all will have screen resolution of 400×800.
    Granted, they will be running on mobile platforms, but the line is certainly blurring.

  • Christian Tang

    How difficult is it to buy a MID? | UMPCPortal – Ultra Mobile …

  • NobbyNobbs

    It`s a well known problem. Without sufficient demand you won`t see MIDs in stores, but without being easily available and a bit of marketing there is never going to be enough demand.
    When I`m using my wibrain or my everun note peolpe often ask me about the devices. As I really these devices despite the slight drawbacks I`m always very positive when I tell people about them. And often enough I really get people interested. But this interest dies instantly once they ask me where they can get these devices. As I live in germany mobilx is the best choice to get them. But many people hesitate to buy in a small webshop in eastern europe with high shipping costs. The biggest question is always on support.
    It really is a shame.

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