September 30, 2008 According to new data released by ABI Research, sales of UMDs (ultra-mobile devices) which reached just 10 million units in 2008 are tipped to exceed 200 million in 2013. With most major manufacturers having now entered the UMD consumer arena, this “new” category of portable computing is shaping up to be a significant market.
UMDs encompass mobile PCs, netbooks and Mobile Internet Devices and, according to ABI Research principal analyst Philip Solis, “the UMD market will still be small compared to the wireless handset market, but with a forecast revenue of nearly US$27 billion in 2013, it will certainly be significant.” Netbooks currently account for around 90% of the UMD market however ABI predicts they will fall to a distant second place by 2013. MID (Mobile Internet Device) sales are tipped to surge ahead and take nearly 68% of the market, with Ultra-mobile PCs (UMPCs) remaining a niche category.
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To put the UMD market forecasts into perspective, the 2013 estimate of 200 million shipped devices is roughly the anticipated size of the worldwide laptop PC market. “As this market enters its rapid growth phase and starts to evolve,” Solis continues, “we will see considerable experimentation with different distribution channels: some will sell direct from the manufacturer, some via retail outlets, and some through mobile operators who will subsidize them to encourage new data plan subscriptions.”
The full report from ABI Research, titled “Mobile Internet Devices and UMPCs”, analyzes the drivers and barriers for UMDs across the ecosystem and examines the issues that will shape this market, including the contest between x86-based processors and ARM-based processors, distribution and subsidization, device definitions, and the effect of cellular voice-enabled MIDs. It includes detailed, segmented market forecasts through 2013.