385 Million ‘UMDs’ in 2014 say ABI Research

Posted on 26 October 2009, Last updated on 16 October 2014 by

ABI ResearchA UMD, as defined by ABI Research, is a netbook, MID, ultra mobile PC or mobile consumer electronics device. I like that definition as it’s almost exactly the scope of the devices we cover on UMPCPortal, MIDMoves, and Meet:Mobility.

385 Million is a big number and ABI’s marketing flyer for their latest report doesn’t give any indication as to how that breaks down but based on netbook figures of about 45 million predicted for 2012 (Intel) , there’s a lot of other devices in that number. Clearly ‘Mobile consumer electronics’ covers a wide spectrum and if it includes devices like the iPod touch and the big PND segment, then that probably covers most of the rest but I like the fact that ABI are still keeping a close eye on the MID segment. Yes, it does have potential…

Pocketable MIDs remain a far more interesting product segment to watch, says Orr, as the market is still emerging. While the most common product design remains the tablet form, competing form factors such as models with slider keyboards, clamshells and touch-screen-only interfaces are gaining in popularity. “However, there is a danger that the MID market will disappear before it gets the chance to mature, as smartphones increase in popularity and mimic most if not all tasks performed by MIDs. inch

…but I don’t agree that it will die. Screen size requirements, keyboard requirements, battery life and other physical aspects mean that smartphones will never be able to wipe out the MID market. I’m 100% sure of that. The lines will blur, as they always do, but there are a ton of people that don’t want to deal with the compromises that convergence brings. Just ask the ebook reader fans about that!

I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Orr, the senior analyst for ABI that covers this segment, at IDF this year and one thing we both agreed on, after a very passionate hour-long chat about the segments, was that the category boundaries are more dynamic than ever. Hat-tip to ABI for trying to tackle it!

Now a promotional item with apologies to ABI…

ABI research are offering a copy of their Mobile Internet Devices Product Database for $5000. Our mobile devices product database is free, dynamic and available here. (click here for a device overview) We also offer the Ultra Mobile Devices Buyers Guide. Again, for free. (Although donations are gratefully accepted!!!)

The Mobile Computing Guide 2009 is being written now and will be available, for a small price this time, in November.

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