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October 10, 2011

Three-fourths of UMD US shipments in 2011 to be media tablets

Media tablets are cannibalising netbook spend, says ABI Research

By CBR Staff Writer

Around 37 million ultra-mobile devices (UMDs) will ship into the US during 2011, predicts resaerch company ABI Research.

UMDs represent mobile computing devices on a continuum bordered by laptop PCs and smartphones. The UMD category consists of four segments: ultra-mobile PCs (UMPCs), mobile Internet devices (MIDs), netbooks, and media tablets.

The company said that this year’s shipments will be led by media tablets and more specifically Apple’s iPad 2. The revenue value from vendor shipments of UMDs into US sales and distribution channels during 2015 is forecast to top $24bn.

ABI Research said that about 75% of total UMD shipments in the US during 2011 are expected to be media tablets.

"While the near-term opportunity is all about media tablets, no UMD segment type has ever sustained a lead for longer than 36 months in any part of the world," said ABI Research group director Jeff Orr.

"Is the next device trend beyond media tablets just around the corner?"

Netbooks continue to be an important segment, though US volumes will steadily decline over the next five years from all-time highs of 9.9 million units shipped in 2010, said the company.

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"For UMDs in the US to take the PC or smartphone markets head-on, there needs to be a fundamental shift in buying behavior driven by lifestyle enhancements and workplace requirements," said Orr.

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