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Netbooks, UMPCs drive next-gen mobile computing

Posted: 15 Jun 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:netbook? UMPC? notebook? mobile computing?

Despite being forecast to together account for only 19 percent of the notebook PCs shipped in 2009 by IMS Research, netbooks and ultramobile PCs (UMPCs) were the most talked about subjects in the recently concluded Computex Taipei.

In many electronics industries, the device convergence phenomenon is resulting in users increasingly utilizing one main device to undertake multiple use cases and satisfy a variety of requirements. One such example is the rise of the smart phone, which as well as providing the traditional cellular capabilities, now offers increasingly higher megapixel cameras, music playback functionality and removable storage to enable more and more multimedia file storage.

In contrast, the mobile computing industry appears to be aiming to increase the number of devices per user, segmenting the market based on highly specific use cases and developing new device categories to meet those needs. One such example of this is 'smartbooks,' a relatively new sub-category of notebook PCs aimed not at replacing a user's primary notebook, but as a supplementary device ideal for those who often take short trips and don't want to take their main notebooks.

Author of an upcoming IMS report forecasting connectivity in different types of notebook PCs, Lisa Arrowsmith explains, "Historically there were only two clear segments of notebook PC usersconsumer and business customers. Increasingly we are now seeing the emergence of highly concentrated user segments, resulting in the development of new device categories, each optimized with a portfolio of wireless technologies aimed at satisfying a different set of needs."

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