Research firm iSuppli is predicting that Mobile Internet Devices (MID) will rise nearly eightfold by 2012. This is especially interesting for those small and medium, or enterprise businesses that rely on connectivity on-the-go. Of course understanding what this means takes a bit of getting past the “alphabet soup” that comes with these new reports.
MIDs would include devices that have integrated connectivity for Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs), Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (WMANs) or 3G or higher Worldwide Wide Area Networks (WWANs).
iSuppli further defines these devices as having a maximum-sized display of 8 inches (measured diagonally), instant-on functionality and an always-connectable capability. Of course a full day’s worth of battery life is part of the equation as well. Currently these products are generally somewhere between the smartphone and the ultra-portable computer when it comes to functionality, and thus the category does overlap with Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs) and even some Portable Media Players (PMPs).
While this category of MIDs is still small, iSuppli sees the potential for the market to expand by nearly a factor of eight from 2007 to 2012. This will still pale to mobile handsets, and even with this growth, MIDs will only reach about 416 million units shipped in 2012.
Of course iSuppli does see that the MID category will include smartphones, and current estimates are that about 60 percent of all smartphones are now MID-class devices. While it is hard to predict for sure, the research firm suggests that by 2012, nearly 100 percent of smartphones could fall into that category.
Other products that will likely and eventually fit into the MID category will be E-Books, such as Amazon’s Kindle or the Sony Reader; as well as Ultra-Mobile PCs and netbooks. Additionally, gaming devices, Mp3 players and even Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs) will likely fall into the MID arena.
One hope at least is that eventually we could see universal devices that do more things. This is already true with many smartphones that can be used as a GPS device, as a portable music player and even for gaming. The last thing any of us want is to have to buy one more expensive gadget and then be weighted down with it! Not to mention it is likely another power cord to forget.
Microsoft App Store Will be Open When it is Open for Business
Microsoft’s app store, which will sell programs for mobile handsets running the Windows Mobile OS, will likely do something that the folks at Apple continue to stay away from, namely being an open shop in how it communicates with developers.
Given the success of the Apple App Store, Microsoft, Nokia, and Research in Motion have all announced that they’ll be bringing out their own stores. This is a solid revenue stream, and the word on the street is that Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft could see about 30 percent of the revenue from the sale of the apps. Software programmers can even pay Microsoft (Likely a $99 a year fee, the same as what Apple now charges) to sell their apps.