Friday, April 28, 2006

Ultra Mobile PCs Set To Boom

This ought to be the last of the sales projection posts for a while; at least until concrete numbers are released.

The market for the Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) that Intel and Microsoft are pushing could reach 7.8 million units by 2011, provided that the devices solve several problems, analyst firm In-Stat wrote in a new study.
Intel and Microsoft unveiled the UMPC last month. The device features an adapted version of the Windows operating system, a 30 to 60 GB hard drive, and 7-inch screen. Battery life is estimated to be around 2.5 hours for the early models that are due out later this year.

The UMPC's success depends in part on the emergence of high-speed wireless technologies that offer users access to their data at all times. Vendors furthermore need to create comprehensive subscription bundles that offer both wireless connectivity and access to premium content such as streaming music and video, argued Jim McGregor, a principal analyst with In-Stat.

"We need to really look at the hardware but also at the services model. The biggest constraining factor is consolidating that and bringing down its price level and complexity," McGregor said.

If those issues aren't resolved, the device by 2011 will appeal mostly to niche markets and unit shipments will be limited to 3.8 million, McGregor projected.

The firm expects sales to ramp up by next year, with device makers selling between 100,000 and 210,000 units in 2007.



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