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Netbook, MID shipments defy economic downturn

Posted: 07 May 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ultramobile device? MID? netbooks? Wi-Fi?

Ultramobile devices that include netbooks, mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and ultramobile PCs (UMPCs) are predicted to see considerable uptake in 2009 and 2010, albeit the slow economy. Based on a recent study, IMS Research is forecasting that over 50 million connected ultramobile devices will ship in 2009, excluding smart phones.

A new study, Emerging Ultra-mobile Device Markets, revealed that many OEMs are actively deploying new products that would fall within three ultra-mobile categories. Anna Hunt, report author, commented, "Netbooks and MIDs have the opportunity to gain mass market appeal very quickly, considering low up-front cost. Operator subsidies, connectivity, and compelling content and services will likely make these products even more desirable to a variety of consumer types." IMS Research forecasted that 207 million ultramobile devices, excluding smart phones, will ship in 2014.

Hunt added, "Many OEMs are optimistic that consumers will look towards low-cost netbooks instead of full-featured laptops when replacing a desktop PC or as an ideal low-cost product for a child." 3G-enabled netbooks are also believed to see strong adoption due to subsidized distribution by carriers, with T-Mobile, Orange, and AT&T, amongst others, expected to drive much of the volume. UMPCs are the one segment of the ultramobile device market that will likely see little growth, especially in 2009, due to the niche appeal and high cost of these products.

Connectivity is a key feature in ultramobile devices. According to IMS Research, 64 percent of ultramobile devices shipping, including smart phones, will be equipped with three or more connectivity technologies, such as Wi-Fi, 3G and Bluetooth by 2014.

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