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Ultra Mobile Devices Find Market Demand

As personal computer (PC) manufacturers adjust to the macro-economic effects of tightened credit, 2008 looks to be a year where Ultra Mobile Devices (UMD) continue to grow their ecosystems, and notebooks and emerging markets assert themselves on the PC side, according to In-Stat.

Sales growth for UMDs is expected to be 72.6 percent in 2008, the high-tech market research firm says. UMDs are ultra mobile PCs, mobile Internet devices, a percentage of high-end smartphones, and a percentage of high-end personal media players.

"For UMDs, concerns remain in the areas of infrastructure and the availability of connectivity beyond Wi-Fi" says Ian Lao, In-Stat analyst.

Also of concern are:

1. The development of sustainable business models -- whereby all levels of the ecosystem may make money without crushing the consumer with high prices.

2. Form factors that are conducive to, and align tightly with, specific usages.

3. Interfaces that are intuitive and provide pleasant, repeatable user experiences.

The research covers the worldwide market for Ultra Mobile Devices and PCs. It provides global unit sales forecasts for UMDs, mobile PCs, desktop PCs, mobile phone handsets, and PMPs through 2012. Analysis of market drivers and barriers, including the current U.S. economic downturn, is included.

In-Stat's market study also found the following:

- Mobile PC growth is forecast to be 15.4 percent in 2008.

- Desktop PC growth is forecast to flatten in 2008, and recover nicely in 2010.

- Non-computer makers are making plays by entering the mobile Internet space and are even labeling their products UMDs.

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