Forward Concepts has announced the publication of a new study that covers the market prospects of the new Ultra Mobile Devices that serve a gap between high-end smartphones and notebook PCs. The report also extensively covers the chips that go in them, both high-end ARM-based application processors and competing Atom-heritage and other X86 processors. Cellular chips that enable mobility are also covered in detail. The in-depth study, "Ultra Mobile Device & Chip Market Opportunities" lays out the prospects of this emerging market and forecasts both devices and chips that enable them through 2014.
Some key findings in this report are:
* Besides appealing to the power traveler, small, low-cost Netbooks benefited from the downward mix experienced in the 2008 PC market as a consequence of consumer behavior resulting from the global economic slump.
* Moving forward, however, Netbook users will place more emphasis on pervasive Internet connectivity that will drive increasingly higher penetration of embedded 3G (and later LTE) capability. This, coupled with increasing operator traction, will drive the growth of 3G Netbook category at a 124% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) reaching 34 million units in 2014 reaching a 45% 3G/LTE attachment rate.
* Smartbooks & Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) will ship with near-ubiquitous 3G/LTE connectivity and will benefit from the pent up demand for a compact multimedia intensive, always-on, ultra-mobile device. We project these devices to grow at a 176% CAGR reaching 63 million units in 2014.
* LTE networks will begin to emerge in 2010 and will be the fastest growing air-interface technology in 3G/LTE Netbooks and Smartbooks/MIDs reaching 5 million and 4.1 million units, respectively, in 2014.
* Just as Netbooks have taken market share from Notebooks, Smartbooks & MIDs will take market share from Smartphones.
* Netbooks and Smartbooks will spur growth of both PC Mobile Broadband and Handset-Centric Mobile Internet subscriptions that we are forecasting to reach 295 million and 1.3 billion, respectively, in 2014.
The report also provides detailed forecast of 3G/LTE Netbooks and Smartbook/MID shipments broken down by region and cellular air interface technology. Forecasts for standalone and combination wireless peripherals, that include WLAN, Bluetooth, GPS and FM, for each device category is also provided.
According to Satish Menon, Senior Analyst for Forward Concepts and primary author of the report, "As a result of limited upward mobility of non-captive Smartphone O/S, Smartbooks are currently lacking an 'anchor' web-centric, multitasking and lightweight O/S capable of fully exploiting the ARM-based applications processors. It is unlikely that Microsoft will be porting Windows7 to ARM platforms, but Maemo, Android, and Chrome are among early O/S candidates for Smartbooks, whether they be based on ARM Processors or on X86 platforms, like Intel's upcoming Moorestown.”