From a virtual “standing start” of just 10 million units in 2008, shipments of ultra-mobile devices (UMDs — the umbrella term for ultra-mobile PCs, netbooks and Mobile Internet Devices) are expected to exceed 200 million in 2013.
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.”
While netbooks account for about 90% of today’s UMD market, they will fall to a distant second place by 2013, while MID (Mobile Internet Device) shipments surge ahead to take nearly 68% of the market, with Ultra-mobile PCs (UMPCs) remaining a niche category.
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.”
A new study from ABI Research, Mobile Internet Devices and UMPCs analyzes the drivers and barriers for UMDs across the ecosystem. It 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.
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