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Ultra-Mobile Devices Experience a Surge in Demand

A variety of Ultra-Mobile Device (UMD) types are experiencing new demand in the marketplace. The shipment, price and revenue data for media tablets, eBook readers and netbook PCs were all part of a recent market study conducted in the third quarter of 2010.

Published in a report by ABI Research, the market data shows that media tablets were indeed the most promising new device type -- with some 4.5 million of the tablets shipped during the quarter. Of those, about 93 percent were Apple iPads.

ABI senior practice director, Jeff Orr, said "Over time, Apple's first-to-market iPad advantage will inevitably erode to some extent."

ABI Research has been tracking media tablets since December 2009 -- future quarterly editions of their report will include market share tracking of all the major media tablet vendors.

The eBook reader vendors continued to do well in their market, bringing new products to consumers in time for the 2010 holiday shopping season.

"The U.S. continues to be the leading market for eBook readers," says Orr, "and the three top vendors, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Sony, are comfortably maintaining their top positions in it."

Barnes & Noble introduced a color version of its Nook reader -- the first color model from a leading vendor -- while Amazon debuted a third-generation Kindle.

Along with their new capabilities, these products also introduced lower list prices than the earlier generations of the same devices.

The first half of 2010 was slow for netbook PCs, as relatively few new products were introduced.

However, Orr points out, "The third quarter saw PC OEMs again breathe life into the segment by introducing new platforms that offered dual-core processors, and lighter or thinner devices with significantly better performance, sleek styling, and visual appeal."

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