NEW YORKFrom a virtual "standing start" of just 10 million units this year, shipments of ultra-mobile devices (UMDs) are expected to exceed 200 million in 2013. UMD is the umbrella term for ultra-mobile PCs, netbooks, and Mobile Internet Devices. According to Philip Solis, ABI Research Principal Analyst, "The UMD market will still be small compared to the wireless handset market. But with a forecast revenue of nearly US $27 billion in 2013, it will certainly be significant."

Although netbooks account for about 90 percent of today's UMD market, they will fall to a distant second place by 2013, while Mobile Internet Device (MID) shipments surge ahead to take nearly 68 percent of the market. Ultra-mobile PCs (UMPCs) will remain a niche category. To put the UMD market forecasts into perspective, the 2013 estimate of 200 million shipped devices is roughly the anticipated size of the worldwide laptop PC market.

According to Solis, "As this market enters its rapid growth phase and starts to evolve, we will see considerable experimentation with different distribution channels: some will sell direct from the manufacturer, some via retail outlets, and some through mobile operators who will subsidize them to encourage new data plan subscriptions."

"Mobile Internet Devices and UMPCs" is a new study from ABI Research. It analyzes the drivers and barriers for UMDs across the ecosystem. The study also examines the issues that will shape this market including the contest between x86-based processors and ARM-based processors, distribution and subsidization, device definitions, and the effect of cellular voice-enabled MIDs. It includes detailed, segmented market forecasts through 2013.

This report forms part of ABI Research's MIDs and Mobile CE Research Service.