According to ABI Research, a new class of “always-on” Internet-connected products, collectively termed “Ultra-Mobile Devices” (UMDs), will become popular over the next five years. UMDs will reach shipments of nearly 95 million units by 2012, and should prove extremely profitable for their makers.
UMDs are of two types, Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs), which run Windows and business applications and are aimed at business users, and Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), which target consumers and are more likely to run a Linux operating system. The latter, with their lower prices and wider appeal, will make up by far the majority of the devices shipped. Apple’s iPhone and Nokia’s N800 may be seen as precursors of the MID. Both UMPCs and MIDs will feature multiple wireless connectivity technologies – Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and cellular – to maintain “any time, anywhere” Internet connectivity.
The ultra mobile device ecosystem will ultimately contain hundreds of vendors: chipmakers, display and device manufacturers, application developers, and service providers.
More info: Mobile Internet Devices and UMPCs »