Tag Archive | "market"

21.5 million hybrid ultramobile PC sales in 2015 – Gartner

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Exciting news! Gartner is predicting that hybrid ultramobile PCs will be the fastest growing segment of the mobile PC market in 2015, will represent 12 percent of total mobile PC sales and is on target to reach 21.5 million device sales.

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58 million units predicted sales in 2019 will represent an estimated 26% of the mobile PC market. The Ultramobile PC is here!

Read the full story

Wait! 13.3-inch, Full HD IPS and SSD for $329? (…and it weighs just 3 pounds!)

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This, my lightbook-loving friends, is going to be a big seller in Q4 of 2014. The Toshiba CB35-B3340 is a 13.3-inch laptop with a full-HD screen, SSD, Skull Candy speakers, a 51 Wh battery and it weighs just 3 pounds – 1.36KG. The price? $330. It’s a nice product for entry-level consumers but it’s a problem for Microsoft.

Toshiba CB35

 

The Toshiba CB35-B3340 is a Chromebook and Chromebooks based on a Baytrail-M SoC with just 16GB of SSD are cheap to produce but this one from Toshiba is well-designed, has a good keyboard and is the best I saw over the last month of  touring IFA and IDF events. Skull Candy speakers hint at a consumer-focus and not classroom-focus but Toshiba hasn’t cut corners on battery life or ports. This Chromebook will give you 9 hours of usage, say Toshiba. I understand it has a 51Wh battery inside so I don’t doubt that. In fact, i’d expect over 10 hours of offline video viewing.

The question is, why can’t this be a Windows laptop? Well, Toshiba have a similar product in the CL-10B (video) but at 11.6-inch it’s not the same. The reason could be that a lot of similar-sounding products in the Windows laptop market are selling for $700 or more. Given that a Windows with Bing license costs nothing I can’t see any reason that this can’t be a Windows laptop other than product separation. That could be an issue for Microsoft because Chromebooks just took 18% of the sub $300 laptop category. In the $300-$400 space this Chromebook is a bargain.

Windows 8 tablets are racing to the bottom in price and specs, Ultrabooks are fading away and cheap Windows laptops have positioning to contend with. The 2-in-1 segment will get a boost from Core M soon but it won’t take effect until 2015. With no word on Cherry Trail products, it looks like it will be a very very tough quarter for Microsoft.

Acer – Ultrabooks On Track, Prices Will Fall

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Acer’s Jim Wong has told media in Taiwan that Ultrabooks are on track and prices will fall, potentially to $499 in 2013.

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Acer had planned to ship, that’s ship, 250000 to 300000 units of the Acer Aspire S3 this year and expect to achieve that target. It’s a slightly veiled shout of confidence to the media but even shipping a third of a million devices requires a lot of risk-taking and investment.

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Android – What’s Coming Next?

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honeycomb-logo

Google confirmed last Friday that they are hosting a press event on Wednesday to discuss their upcoming Android Honeycomb release and share some details on the future of the Android ecosystem. While manufacturers have already detailed their upcoming Honeycomb powered devices at CES in Vegas, Google have yet to share any detailed information about Honeycomb itself other than teasing developers with a preview SDK. So, other than an in-depth look at the Honeycomb release what else can we expect tomorrow? I’ve put together a few ideas of my own to bring you some predictions below.

Android Market Web Client

This was first teased at Google I/O 2010 by Google’s Vic Gundotra. This will bring a simple but comprehensive Android Market experience to users that has not been designed to comply with the limitations of the mobile form factor. Simply visit the Android Market on your computers web browser, find new applications and watch them automatically download to your Android device. Much like the recent device client update, I’d expect this to work on device running Android 1.6 or greater.

Android Music Player

Another product that was demonstrated at Google I/O 2010 was a significantly improved music player. Not only does the application have an overhauled user interface that’s similar to the Gallery application the improved application will have the ability to stream music from any computer that has a special music streaming application installed. Watch a hands-on of a leaked early build of the application below.

Android Market Paypal Support

It seems like a long time since Paypal accidentally blogged about Android Market gaining Paypal support, that’s because it was a very long time! When Paypal does eventually launch within the Android Market not only will it provide another mechanism for users to purchase applications it might benefit users living in countries not fortunate enough to have paid application support as Google may look to benefit from Paypal’s 90 million customers and roll out the Android Market to more countries.

Google Certification

One question that always crops up with newly announced products is “does it have Android market? inch. Now that Android has officially expanded to both tablets, TVs and has Google’s full blessing expect greater diversity in devices that carry the Google logo. Previously, for a device to be Google certified and carry the Android Market it needed to fall into the phone category. Since Google is expanding into the tablet business expect Android devices in all sorts of shapes and sizes to now carry the Google logo and provide users with the true Google experience they expect to see on their Android device. Maybe we might even see the long rumoured WiFi-only Galaxy Tab launch soon.

This is just a small portion of some of the Android Ecosystem updates I expect we might see tomorrow however I know many users would be more than happy to see something simple like the elusive Nexus One 2.3 over the air update!

Tune into youtube.com/android from 10AM PST / 6PM GMT to watch the event live.

Source: AndroidAndMe

Android – What’s Coming Next?

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honeycomb-logo

Google confirmed last Friday that they are hosting a press event on Wednesday to discuss their upcoming Android Honeycomb release and share some details on the future of the Android ecosystem. While manufacturers have already detailed their upcoming Honeycomb powered devices at CES in Vegas, Google have yet to share any detailed information about Honeycomb itself other than teasing developers with a preview SDK. So, other than an in-depth look at the Honeycomb release what else can we expect tomorrow? I’ve put together a few ideas of my own to bring you some predictions below.

Android Market Web Client

This was first teased at Google I/O 2010 by Google’s Vic Gundotra. This will bring a simple but comprehensive Android Market experience to users that has not been designed to comply with the limitations of the mobile form factor. Simply visit the Android Market on your computers web browser, find new applications and watch them automatically download to your Android device. Much like the recent device client update, I’d expect this to work on device running Android 1.6 or greater.

Android Music Player

Another product that was demonstrated at Google I/O 2010 was a significantly improved music player. Not only does the application have an overhauled user interface that’s similar to the Gallery application the improved application will have the ability to stream music from any computer that has a special music streaming application installed. Watch a hands-on of a leaked early build of the application below.

Android Market Paypal Support

It seems like a long time since Paypal accidentally blogged about Android Market gaining Paypal support, that’s because it was a very long time! When Paypal does eventually launch within the Android Market not only will it provide another mechanism for users to purchase applications it might benefit users living in countries not fortunate enough to have paid application support as Google may look to benefit from Paypal’s 90 million customers and roll out the Android Market to more countries.

Google Certification

One question that always crops up with newly announced products is “does it have Android market?”. Now that Android has officially expanded to both tablets, TVs and has Google’s full blessing expect greater diversity in devices that carry the Google logo. Previously, for a device to be Google certified and carry the Android Market it needed to fall into the phone category. Since Google is expanding into the tablet business expect Android devices in all sorts of shapes and sizes to now carry the Google logo and provide users with the true Google experience they expect to see on their Android device. Maybe we might even see the long rumoured WiFi-only Galaxy Tab launch soon.

This is just a small portion of some of the Android Ecosystem updates I expect we might see tomorrow however I know many users would be more than happy to see something simple like the elusive Nexus One 2.3 over the air update!

Tune into youtube.com/android from 10AM PST / 6PM GMT to watch the event live.

Source: AndroidAndMe

Why There Isn’t an iPad Alternative

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smartdevices Continued from Twitter for  @alsutton @beantin @mkearley2008 and others that were maybe a little surprised at my tweet this morning…

“My current stance on iPad alternatives – There are none. inch

I couldn’t answer the twitter responses in 140 chars so here’s a more detailed, and I hope, understandable explanation.

Consumer Internet device success continues to hinge on applications. It’s the reason that AppUp exists, that Nokia will invest 10m into developer incentives in the US, why Samsung is throwing money to Bada developers and why Chrome OS will have a web app store. It brings critical ‘value-add’ to a product for customers, incentivises (is that a word?)developers and provides revenue opportunities for operators. It really is a killer application and only one vendor has got it right in this space so far.

While the hardware and design for most consumer internet devices [as I write, this mostly means tablets] is the same and one could argue that there are, from a visual and usage-case perspective, many choices, only one device has the application ecosystem that gives it the ‘value-add’.’ There isn’t another stack of silicon, hardware, operating system and services that provides this and there won’t be until well into 2011.

Android is a fantastic alternative *opportunity* of course but having done more testing than most on large-format Android devices, (I cast a glance over to the Toshiba AC100) I can see that current applications are still focused on the small screen. There aren’t any compulsive large screen games, video creation, music creation or even productivity apps feeding through that consider the larger form factor, longer battery life and often, more powerful CPU and GPU of a consumer internet device. Why should there be? Android V2.x doesn’t provide the hooks for large-screen app development and Google limits the use of their Market to phones (and large phones.) I also think that AppUp is a good opportunity. There are now 1000 apps in the store that are written with a larger screen and CPU in mind. Most are monetised and there’s potential for much more to happen on MeeGo (not forgetting Ovi) during 2011 but right now, can anyone name me a ‘complete product’, from silicon, through design, operating system and applications ecosystem, that offers the same as the iPad?

We used to jokingly call the iPad a large iPhone but the application store has given it differentiation. In the Android world, that differentiation option hasn’t even been enabled yet. Android tablets with the application store really are large phones and until Android is enhanced and Google widens the doors to the market (and possibly creates a large-format application suite) the solution has a limited future and doesn’t offer an alternative to the iPad.

There’s one other point I want to make. If you’re looking for an alternative to the iPad, there isn’t one. If you’re looking for a different product that looks the same then there are some choices out there. Unfortunately, in this consumer internet device/tablet market, I don’t see many people defining their requirements before choosing a solution. I see the product desire growing through application desire (and style, of course) and not connectors and micro-sd card slots.

That’s just my opinion so feel free to ramble and rant below! We might give vendors something to think about in their next product planning meeting!

Update: I always encourage thought about personal requirements. This ‘chooser’ tool i’m working on (currently in Alpha) shows 4 leading tablet devices and allows you to set your requirements and see a ‘winner’ based on public ratings. It’s not a foolproof way to choose a device but it’s a good way to start thinking about requirements. Ipad, Galaxy Tab, Viewpad 7 and Dell Streak Chooser Tool.

Interview: AndAppStore founder Al Sutton

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As the days go by, the topic of application stores on non-smartphones becomes hotter and hotter, more and more critical. Google won’t release their Market without a license and the developers often don’t see any reason to distribute outside the Market channel. It leaves the non-smartphone tablets missing an important part of the Android product.

alsuttonAl Sutton (Twitter, Blog) is founder of Funky Android, the company that produces the AndApp Store which is a no-license framework for the distribution and payment of applications to Android powered devices. Its one of a number of 3rd party stores out there and often finds its place on the lower-cost tablets. The recent Augen tablet Market slip-up highlights how closely-guarded the Market is.

We spoke to Al to find out how the state of play looks from his angle. He has some interesting thoughts too.

  • There are many countries not served by Google Market.
  • It may not be worth Google Market moving into the tablet space because of Chrome and better opportunities in the browser.
  • Google 3.0 may be Google TV focused.
  • It takes a ‘couple of minutes’ to list a new application at AndAppStore

Full interview below. Thanks Al.

Firstly, tell us why you started an alternative applications store for Android?

AndAppStore was launched before the T-Mobile G1 because Google hadn’t provided public information on how developers could distribute their apps via Market. We wanted to provide a service which developers could use to distribute their apps to users as soon as the G1 was launched.

As Market opened up to submissions we moved towards serving groups who hadn’t reached an agreement with Google to license the Google Android application suite (including Market). These groups ranged from OEMs through to small informal groups porting Android to various devices, and we continue to support all of those groups today by offering a royalty and contract free client which they can freely redistribute without asking us.

The situation with paid applications has also provided us with an opportunity to serve the Android community. We direct users to PayPal for application payments and the payments go directly from the user to the developer meaning the developer gets all of the revenue from their sales. This means we can list pay-for applications from many more countries than Market currently does, and makes it more profitable for the developer, which makes it a win-win situation for all concerned.  We know this is popular because we have several developers who are in countries not served by Market, some of whom are making a few thousand dollars a month, and when you reach that level of sales the difference between a market which takes nothing and a market which takes 30% runs into hundreds of dollars.

In short; AndAppStore was set up to serve developers needs and there are still things that it can provide to developers which makes them want to list their apps.

So your main customers would be users of devices without Google Market then? What other key types of user do you see?

We have two main types of users;

1) Users on devices without Market.

2) Users who want access to paid applications from developers outside the areas Google serves.

The largest group is the first one, but over 35% of downloads via AndAppStore go to devices which ship with Market installed, so we know that the second group is also important. We we’re initially surprised at the size of the second group, but we can see it goes to show that there is a lot of demand for paid applications from developers in countries Google isn’t currently serving.

Across those two areas we see a fairly wide range of users in both geographically and in terms of the devices they’re using. We, like Google, publish platform stats ( ours are at http://stats.andappstore.com/platform-versions.html ), this helps developers to see what the world is like beyond Market if they want to support it.

The low-cost tablet, smartpad and smartbook space is obviously an opportunity but will Google step in soon?

I’m not sure it’s worth Google stepping into that segment, and even if they did I’m not sure all OEMs will want to carry the cost of complying with Googles requirements and would agree to Markets revenue sharing system. We’ve worked with some OEMs who were looking to include Market and the impression has been it’s a long process which can throw up a few unexpected hurdles. If you compare that to AndAppStore where the OEM can go to our site, download the client, put it in their firmware, or, as Augen did, make it available via their support site, you can see it’s a much cheaper prospect for the OEM and the turnaround is much shorter, with some OEMs going from having nothing to offering over 1,000 apps the their user via the AndAppStore client in only a few hours.

It’s well know that Google will have to loosen the requirements somewhat to support Google TV. The most recent public compatibility requirements I’ve seen (version 2.1) requires things that just don’t make sense in the context of a TV such as; dynamic screen orientation (would you turn your 42" plasma on it’s side just because the Facebook app only supports portrait mode for it’s home screen?), 2MP+ camera, 3 axis accelerometer, 3 axis compass, GPS. So when these requirements dropped things may become easier for OEMs, but there are still the legal requirements and agreements which are rarely cheap or quick to go through.

Google appears to be keeping tight control on Market. What exactly is stopping them licensing to non-smartphone devices?

Market controls where most of the big names will deploy hardware. Without Market support for non-smartphone devices you’re unlikely to see big product launches from the likes of HTC, Dell, Asus, etc., etc., etc., so it’s Googles way of trying to steer OEMs to where they want them, and I can see them not wanting to OEMs to produce non-smartphone devices with Android for one big reason;

Chrome OS.

There’s no doubt Android has generated a lot of PR for them, but Chrome OS drives users to where Google is most at home, and makes a huge amount of money, and that’s the web.  With Android it’s possible for Google to support a user and see no revenue for it because the Google apps on Android don’t carry apps ads (at the moment). Whereas with Chrome OS users are driven to Googles webapps with all the advertising they have, and thus Google at least has an opportunity to make money from that.

It’s a similar situation with Google TV. Although Market is mentioned (briefly) in the Google TV promo video there’s no mention of a native GMail app or anything similar, it’s all focused on the browser where they can generate more revenue from users.

Do you think Android 3.0, a tablet-focused version of Android and Market will really happen? Will productive apps start coming through? Will devs re-work their apps for bigger screens?

I think 3.0 will be Google TV focused, and that will help tablets, but I don’t think it will be purely tablet focused. A lot of the problems Google have to overcome to support Google TV (such as a wider range of screen sizes and hardware with less functionality than a smartphone) are the same types of problems Android faces before it can be deployed on cheaper tablets.

My belief is that any tablet specific functionality will come as a by-product of other work. Given Googles relationship with HTC I would have thought we would have seen an HTC Android tablet announcement if tablets were a big focus of development, but, instead, we’re seeing details of an HTC Chrome OS tablet, which I think says a lot.

What does AndApp bring to developers that Google Market doesn’t?

The main advantages are access to the users on devices you can’t reach via Market and the ability to list paid applications if you live in one of the 100+ countries PayPal supports.

We’re well aware that developers focus on Market, and we’re not trying to get in the way of that, but for the couple of minutes it takes to list a release at AndAppStore developers could find themselves getting downloads from users who, if the developer only listed on Market, may have only had access to the app via a pirating site.

We try to make it as easy as possible to list applications on AndAppStore because we understand it’s not the main focus for many developers. At the moment we’re looking at introducing an API so developers can just submit their APK and AndAppStore takes care of everything else, and if developers have any other ideas for what they want to see they’re free to discuss them on our Google Group (http://groups.google.com/group/andappstore-discussion).

Here’s an idea. Why don’t all the 3rd-party stores get together under an ‘appstore foundation’ and get some common processes and payment systems worked out. Surely it makes sense to work together in an open way while Google remains closed?

We tried to float this idea about a year ago and it got nowhere ( you can see the thread at http://bit.ly/czQyvL ).

With app stores currently being measured by the number of apps they have there is very little incentive for any app store to hand over parts of it’s catalogue to a competitor, which is a big problem for developers, because it discourages app stores helping each other to increase their catalogues. There is also a lot of competition in the app store sector, so every unique application and feature an app store offers is one small step forward from the crowd, which tends to make app store operators very protective, and some even start using the catalogues of others without permission just to boost their application count as highlighted by Tim Strazzere in his blog post at http://strazzere.com/blog/?p=316 .

Google is a big problem though if we want to get something off the ground, and we saw a demonstration of how Google views 3rd party app stores with their recent licensing solution. In early 2009 we developed a licensing solution with an API which allows the generation of licenses from other sites. We then offered it to Google in March 2009 as the basis for a cross-market solution, and they said no thanks, so we were pretty surprised when they recently release release their new licensing system (over a year later) which is almost identical to what we offered them in 2009 except for the LVL library and that the solution can now only be used by applications sold via Market on devices where Market is installed.

What are the future plans for AndApp?

Simple; to keep serving OEMs, Developers, and users for as long as they want us to.

You can catch Al Sutton speaking at DroidCon on the 29th October.

Netbook Freeze Is More Than Just a Summer Break.

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As I was counting the netbook articles on Liliputing this morning (2 on the first 2 pages of 18 headlines) I wondered again if the netbook market might be having more than just a summer break. The push to more powerful devices (and slightly higher prices) with the next-gen CPUs and platforms seems to me like it breaks everything that the netbook was. Its over and all that remains is the momentum of the tag (which of course will be carried forward by everyone that has invested in it.)

Sasha, my good friend and fellow MeetMobility podcaster is one of those that has a lot invested in the keyword so it’s interesting to read his thoughts on it. In an article today he highlights the advances that the new platforms will bring and assures us that everything is going to be fine. If you can wait until February, he says, you’re going to have a big selection of new devices to choose from.

I have a certain amount of my business effort invested in netbooks too. If the netbook hadn’t have arrived my company would have been dead a long time ago and, like the iPad, it makes people think and mobility, size and usability. I’m not so bullish on the future of netbooks though. There are a couple of data points I’m considering and a number of other thoughts.

Google Trends

Google trends is hardly the best indicator of sales but it does indicate popularity amount searches and popularity amongst news items. Netbooks are certainly taking second place to tablets in terms of news right now and it seems that the slow down in news is also affecting users awareness of the platform. That will have a direct impact on sales. Searches for ‘netbook’ are now running at less than one fifth of searches for Android or iPad. This time last year, Android and Netbook were attracting exactly the same level of search queries. Having said that, there are almost the same number of queries for netbook as there were one year ago. Only the number of news articles has fallen.

netbook-trend

Number of Netbooks.

By analysing the German netbook market SKU numbers and the distribution of screen sizes over the last two years it can be clearly shown that the sub 10 inch market is long gone. The 10 inch market is flattening off in terms of new products and only the 11 inch segment is rising significantly. In this months analysis it’s also clear that the total numbers of products is flattening off which could be an indicator that growth has stopped in Germany. Again, the underlying trend is one of ‘flat’ rather than growth or decay. If this can be maintained, the netbook market will remain healthy but with new product launches sowing, it will be difficult to keep momentum. Of course, if devices are simply dropping the ‘netbook’ tag in their marketing then the devices may must be selling as ‘laptops’ although that in itself indicates that the netbook trend is over.

Based on simple screen sizes and weight figures, the traditional netbook market is already over for me.

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Screen Size Analysis (Sub 12″) March 2010. ‘Hi-Res’ and Pinetrail Feature.

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This is the forth report on key trends in PCs below 12 inch screen size appearing in the German market through the popular price comparison engine, Geizhals.at . (Based on SKUs, not model families.) The last one was done in November 2009

In this report you’ll see the big jump in numbers coming from the new Pinetrail devices. Below the graphs I highlight some key numbers.

total_number_of_sub_12__pcs_(germany)

Number of SKUs in the market.

sub_12__screen_size_distribution

The big jump in numbers is clear to see from the top graph. Total numbers jumped by 115 with Pinetrail making up a large portion of that number. A bigger trend I’m seeing is the introduction of 1366×768 displays. Nearly all of the 101 devices with hi-res screens have appeared in 2010.

Other ‘trends’ that are clear from the data provided in the comparison engine:

  • 78% of the devices are running on Intel Atom. Remember that the segment includes some devices running laptop-grade CPUs. This is not just an analysis of netbooks.
  • The percentage of devices in the 10% segment dropped but the number of devices still rose.
  • There were percentage increments in the 5 inch, 8 inch, 9 inch (ipad) segments. Previous reports showed decline in these segments.
  • Only 5% of the devices are offered with Linux.
  • There’s a 3:2 ratio of Glossy to Matt screens.
  • Only 10% of the devices weigh 1KG or less.
  • Very few Nvidia ION devices have reached the market. Only 3% include the ION option and all of these are ION V1. Devices with Pinetrail + ION are expected in the next snapshot so this number should increase.
  • The cheapest device (based on lowest price offered) is still the Hercules E-Cafe EC800 is more expensive now – 183 Euros (up from 151) but the cheapest Intel Atom netbook isn’t far behind at only 188 Euros. (lowest price.)

One thing I note every time I do this is that there are a lot of end-of-life PCs still being offered. For example, the EeePC 701 is still hanging around. It’s difficult to measure but it looks like up to 100 of the devices in the market are remnants.

When we look again in June I expect we’ll see a much smaller increase in numbers. The first ION2 devices will appear though and if the ‘tablets’ and MIDs start flowing into the market as promised, we should see growth, albeit very small,  in the sub 1KG and sub 10 inch segments with a corresponding increase in non-Windows numbers.

ABI Research: MIDs as Smartphones? 50% said yes!

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This one has surprised me a little bit. I expect a certain type of MID to merge with the rising capabilities of smartphones but I didn’t expect 50% of people to agree that MIDs (ABI seems to point to big-screen devices that aren’t 24/7 devices) would be cell phone replacements. Have I been a bit short-sighted here? Are we getting to a point where a 4" or even 5" screen MID with voice capabilities would be acceptable as a smartphone by a significant number of people?

MIDs have been proposed by some as cell phone replacements. Does the public agree? In this survey, almost half did, lending support to models incorporating cellular voice, while 34% said they would continue to use a cellular handset.

“This is going to become a question for MID vendors and consumers alike,” says Philip Solis, principal analyst at ABI Research. “There will be little difference between a smartphone such as the Palm Pre which uses an OMAP 3 processor and a MID with cellular voice, except for screen size. Understanding of what consumers want from stand-alone MIDs without cellular voice will be important.”

The survey was done in the U.S. where, in my experience, there’s more acceptance, or even a demand for ever bigger mobile computing products and I know there are people reading UMPCPortal that are waiting for the all-in-one to appear. I may be underestimating this part of the market. Maybe ‘MID’ is the new ‘smartphone’? On the other hand, do the ‘public’ really know what a MID is?

ABI research press release.

UMPCs. Add WWAN, Sell more!

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instat I have no problem agreeing with what InStat are saying in their latest report. "Embedding a wide-area wireless modem into devices addresses the frustration many users have with the coverage of Wi-Fi." For me, wireless wan connectivity is an absolute must for a ultra mobile PC and anything without it is just portable between hotspots but I do also understand that there are problems for OEMs too. Adding 3G to a product requires more certification expense, assembly-line options, adds cost and is difficult to research on a global territory basis. This is why you see OEMs like Raon Digital offering base systems that resellers can tailor for their own customers. It’s also why Intel have a modular 3/4G option in their Menlow platform.

There are also people that aren’t quite as mobile as others using multiple WLAN locations as hot-desks or even working within a single hotspot area. Tethering and USB sticks also provide an option but as carriers get their backbones ready for this new class of netbook and UMPCs and as 3G USB stick margins drop, they will start demanding that devices come with 3G built in. If OEM’s want to get their devices into these potentially huge sales channels, they need to comply.

The InStat report also covers ultra mobile PC market predictions. Unfortunately there aren’t any hints as to what they think the market is worth and even what a ultra mobile PC or UMD is. For what it’s worth, I don’t think there’s going to be too much growth in the traditional ultra mobile PC market (productive, 6-8" screen, lightweight mobile computing hardware running desktop software) this year due to lower-cost netbook options and fairly static vertical markets and solutions but if you look at lower down in the market at 4-5" devices, there’s something starting to happen. Viliv, Raon, UMID, Fujitsu, Wibrain, Lluon and others are all in with new devices. Some may call them MIDs but when they running Windows and looking exactly like the Origami marketing dreams of 2006, you’ve got to consider them as UMPCs.

Report summary (PDF)

Via Center Daily

Report: Japanese Mobile Internet Device market to reach 5.3 Million units by 2012

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Japan’s population is about 128 million people so to say that one in 25 will buy a MID in 2012, just over 3 years away, seems a little surprising. Even more surprising is the prediction that, together with 18 million smartphone sales, the MID/Smartphone segment will form about 40% of the total handset market meaning MIDs would be 10% of the total handset market. However, the definition of a MID that has been used seems slightly off-mark and puts the average screen size at 3.5 inches. I could understand an average of 4" but 3.5"? Too small for 800×480? Cue Touch HD owners…

The concept of MID is defined in this report according to five conditions, which are Mobility, Always-On, Embedded 3G+, Display Size, and Full Browsing. This report emphasizes that in order to offer mobility while being differentiated from Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), MIDs have to be embedded with 3G+ cellular chip. When mobile WiMAX is vitalized, MID products that cover voice services based on VoIP and offer mobile broadband might hit the market.

Source: Research and Markets

Via TMCNet (Nov 20th)