Ultra mobile device use set to soar

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The number of ultra mobile devices (UMDs) is set to reach 200 million by 2013, with the industry worth around $27bn, according to new research by market analyst ABI Research.

The study found that demand for UMDs, which includes mobile internet devices, netbooks and ultra mobile PCs, is likely to soar from just 10 million units shipped this year.

But it also predicted that the popularity of netbooks such as the Asus Eee PC will fade, as mobile internet devices take nearly 70 per cent of the market. Netbooks currently dominate the UMD market, accounting for about 90 per cent of devices.

“As this market enters its rapid growth phase and starts to evolve,” said Philip Solis, principal analyst with ABI in a statement.

“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 subsidise them to encourage new data plan subscriptions.”

However, UMPCs, such as the Samsung Q1, will remain a niche product, the report said.
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