Mobile Device Categorization at Mobile Dev Camp, Munich.

Updated on 21 September 2019 by

Take a look at this picture. In it are the 14 mobile devices I’m taking to Mobile Dev Camp in Munich on Saturday. From a simple feature phone through to one of the bigger netbooks. 2 inch to 10 inch screens. Now try and categorise each device using the terms UMPC, UMD, Smartphone, Mobile Computer, MID, Tablet, Pad, Netbook, Mini Notebook, Microblogging device, Pocket PC or any other term that you care to come up with.


It’s impossible right?

The problem is that every time a mobile device is conceived, the marketing people have to carefully analyse where the device might fit in. The same is true of mobile software. What sort of device will the applications ‘fit’ on?

On Saturday at the Mobile Dev Camp in Munich I’ll be talking about the subject with a bunch of devs to¬† try and stimulate some discussion on the subject. Do we really believe that everything should be converged into a 24/7 pocketable device or are their opportunities to improve the experience for the customer and to break out into small, but significant, niches. Does everything hinge on the mobile OS and it’s success in primary markets?

I will be using the diagram I created in 2006 to highlight where I thought (and still think) the physical and design limits were for various mobile computing functions.

Click to enlarge.

For example, I don’t believe that Ebook reading, high quality web browsing, Web applications, 3D gaming or IPTV will work well on the 2 inch-4 inch sized devices and that if you really want high quality video playback, you’ll need a screen of 8 inch or above. Well that’s my thought anyway. The idea of my talk is to show people the devices and the diagram and to get their feedback so that this diagram can be optimised and re-published. Maybe it helps a mobile software developer somewhere.

If you’re free on Saturday and able to get to Munich, register and come along to MDC and join in the fun or If you’ve got some time on Friday evening, join me in the bar at the Bauer Hotel at 1900 where you’ll have a chance to get some hands-on with the devices. If you can’t make it, keep an eye on UMPCPortal and MIDMoves where I’ll be reporting on as much of MDC as I can.

P.S. Thanks to the Intel Insider program who are supporting me to get down to Munich for the event.

5 Comments For This Post

  1. rob says:

    how much money does all that represent?

  2. Ronnie Slade says:

    Mobile Device Categorization at Mobile Dev Camp, Munich …

  3. john says:

    hey chippy would you recommend viliv x70??

  4. Vakeros says:

    Personally, I would drop your bottom end category of 2″ – 4″ and change the new lowest one to 3″ (or 3.5″) – 5.6″. This being the maximum size (with a small bezel like the HTC Touch HD2) for a pocketable device.
    I would then change the next size to 6″ – 8.5″ as this is the next size of device which fits in the jacket pocket, and finally 9″ – 11.6″ – which I think is a small laptop.
    I would categorize them by size and by function. Unless all devices come with all functions, you can’t term them all under one umbrella (except maybe the term UMDs from which I would remove the last size category from.). They are also all UMPCs – which represents that they are not limited to a single function unlike i.e a PMP, eBook etc.
    So the bottom end are Pocket PCs (MIDs), then Portable PCs, then MiniNotebooks. (If you decide you have to keep your bottom category then call it a Smartphone and lower the upper limit to 3″ (or 3.5″)
    In style they can be slate or slider or clamshell – I don’t think they should be called this, but is a point of reference of interest.

    I think you should give an example of a real device in each category. Maybe showing how it isn’t quite there yet, but this is the type of thing you are expecting people to use. Nothing helps more than a real device/s showing what you mean.

  5. Knusperkeks says:

    Hi Chippy,
    sounds interesting, but i think devices of 4″-6″ can use “normal” OS like Linux or XP quite well too. And then, like Vakeros said, 6″-8.5″ and finally 9″-11.6″…

Recommended Reading

Top Ultra Mobile PCs

Dell Latitude E7440
14.0" Intel Core i5-4200U
GPD Pocket 2
7.0" Intel Core m3-8100Y
GPD Win 2
6.0" Intel m3 7Y30
Viliv S5
4.8" Intel Atom (Silverthorne)
Lenovo Ideapad Flex 10
10.1" Intel Celeron N2806
Acer Aspire Switch 10
10.1" Intel Atom Z3745
Acer Aspire E11 ES1
11.6" Intel Celeron N2840
Microsoft Surface Go
10.0" Intel Pentium 4415Y
LG G8X THINQ Dual Screen
6.4" Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Toshiba Portege Z930
13.3" Intel Core i5 3427U