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UMPC expected to spawn family of devices

Aug 21, 2007 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

What we know as the “ultra-mobile PC” (UMPC) is going to be one of a whole family of “ultra-mobile devices” (UMDs), a new report claims. Market researcher In-Stat says “one ultra mobile device will not be able to meet all of the different usages and applications.”

In-Stat defines an ultra-mobile device (UMD) as being… one that:

  • runs a full operating system
  • can run any application as originally developed and compiled for PCs or notebooks
  • can display full web pages unmodified, including flash and java applets

Interestingly, many Linux devices would fit this description, if not for the “as compiled for PCs” stipulation. This would appear to eliminate otherwise qualified UMDs such as Nokia's N800 and Palm's Foleo (pictured at right), since PC applications must be recompiled to run on their ARM-based processors. Perhaps In-Stat will reconsider this criteria if Linux continues to thrive on ARM and other ultra-efficient mobile architectures.

Linux could still be well-represented in In-Stat's future UMD findings, however, if the current buzz around Linux- and Intel-based MIDs (mobile Internet devices) holds up. Currently, Red Flag, Ubuntu, and Gnome are among the open source software projects working on versions of their software specially aimed at mobile devices.

Meanwhile, In-Stat cites a bevy of mainly Windows-based devices as examples of UMDs, including the Gigabyte U60, Samsung Q1 Ultra, Raon Everrun, Sony UX-390, and Fujitsu Lifebook U1010.

A few potential “UMDs.” Clockwise: Pepper Computing PepperPad, Via Nanobook, Data Evolution Cathena CX, Paul Allen's FlipStart, Intel MID prototype, TabletKiosk TufTab v7112XT, Beijing Peace H9, Black Diamond Switchback, Sony Vaio UX Micro, and Microsoft UMPC (aka “Project Origami”) (Click any UMD for details)

Highlights of In-Stat's UMD report include predictions that:

  • More than 8 million units will be shipped in 2011
  • 2008-2010 will be key years for the development of anytime/anywhere wireless connectivity, which is considered necessary for widespread adoption of the UMD paradigm.
The report is available for $2,995. For further details, go here.

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