"Always-on" mobile Internet device sales to reach 95 million by 2012

Apple iPhone

September 19, 2007 Sales of a new class of “always-on”, Internet-connected products categorized as “Ultra-Mobile Devices” (UMDs) will reach somewhere in the realm of 95 million units by 2012 according to a new report from ABI Research. The report covers a range of emerging devices that will vary in form and functionality, with established manufacturers such as Nokia and Apple clearly standing to benefit from this next boom.

The report breaks products down into two categories: Ultra-Mobile PCs (UMPCs) for business users which run Windows and business applications and Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), which target consumers and are more likely to run a Linux operating system. Both UMPCs and MIDs will feature multiple wireless connectivity technologies – Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and cellular – to maintain internet connectivity.

The ABI Research report entitled “Mobile Internet Devices and UMPCs” is the first study covering both categories. It details the buyers who are likely to purchase which type of product and the applications they will be running. It also evaluates market potential, technology challenges, and the strategies of the major vendors entering this market. It also revealed that the lower cost MIDs for the mass consumer market will make up the majority of the projected 95 million sales.

“UMDs are a very exciting, potentially very lucrative area,” says Stan Schatt, vice president of ABI Research. “What makes this market so intriguing is that products will assume so many different forms. That product differentiation will be an integral part of the ultra mobile device marketing plan.” A range of applications that will be offered on the devices including web browsing, music, navigation, email, photo/video, and vertical commercial applications. Some new applications, such as medical monitoring, are still being development.

Two precursors in the emerging market are the Apple iPhone and the Nokia N800. The eagerly awaited iPhone, was upgraded even before its release in June and sales have since reached one million units according to an Apple statement released earlier this month.

For further information on the report see ABI Research.

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