Amazon’s new “Kindle” reader device and ASUSTek Computer’s ultra-mobile “Eee PC” are conspicuous examples of a whole new class of Internet-connected products which will become popular over the next five years. Hailed by some as “the first improvement to the book in centuries,” Kindle is a portable document reader that accesses the Internet via a 3G cellular connection and allows quick purchase, download, and reading of all kinds of books and documents. The Eee PC, a tiny, rugged computer with WiFi 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi access, is aimed a lowering the threshold for consumers to enjoy an online life anywhere, at any time.
“Both Amazon’s Kindle and the ASUS Eee PC represent the kinds of devices that we forecast would proliferate along with mobile broadband access,” says Stan Schatt, vice president and research director at ABI Research. “In a recent report, we broke down Mobile Internet Device types by application, and the Kindle falls squarely into what we identified as the largest application segment: ‘Information Retrieval/Web Browsing.’”
Who will buy these MIDs? Some 90 million consumers worldwide by 2012, according to the research. The largest group will be in search of personal navigation devices, but a substantial 14 million will come from a “greenfield” category representing entirely new applications. “Because this is such a new field, MID makers are in the dark about where their customers will come from,” notes Schatt. “ABI Research has estimated the conversion rates for many traditional portable devices becoming Internet-enabled, but significantly there are brand new categories coming out, offering completely new applications. The Kindle is one of the first of these, and we will see more, as yet undreamed of, concepts entering this market.”
“Mobile Internet Devices and UMPCs” evaluates the market potential of these “ultra-mobile devices”, their technology challenges, and the strategies of the major vendors entering this market, and includes forecasts through 2012. It forms part of two ABI Research Services, Mobile Devices, and Wi-Fi, which also include other Research Reports, Research Briefs, Market Data, an Online Database, ABI Insights, ABI Vendor Matrices and analyst inquiry support.
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