Remember the announcements from Intel about the MIDs and other UMPCs 2 years ago? Where are they all those wonderful products that should enable us to browse the internet with a full internet experience? If you look at Intel Website you’ll find only 4 manufacturers for this kind of products: Samsung, Asus, Founder and TabletKiosk. It really looks like the wrong recipe. Ingredients have been mixed but the cake is just not appealing. These products should have changed the world but they are just bulky, horrid, useless piece of hardware.
This category of products is stillborn as their main value proposition “browse the internet on a tablet” is too weak. Browsing the Internet isn’t anymore a core value proposition as you expect your portable console, your portable media player, and … your smartphone to do the same on top of a strong value proposition.
Some would say you cannot browse properly with a smartphone as the screen is too small; the browser with limited capabilities; there is no flash support. But it is no longer the case. With device like the Toshiba TG01 you can enjoy a desktop browsing experience. Thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, the device is connected in HSPA for high-speed internet, it is powerful enough to run flash websites. Furthermore you can really read the screen with its massive W VGA 4.1’’ screen. And it is still a smartphone with which you can make phone calls. TG01 is just the first of its kind. All manufacturers are up to introduce their first Snapdragon based device with similar screen.
What space is left for MID? The answer may be in the kitchen. Have a look at O2 JOGGLER coming from Open Peak. It is the perfect device for the kitchen or the living room. It has WIFI connectivity, runs applications and enables to share calendar within the family, get RSS news feed, stream photos and videos, listen music and watch photos and videos. And why not as a device to browse recipes on Jamie Oliver website or Marmiton.org?
But let’s push the concept a bit further or mix it the Asus Air Guru or Skype videophone. Then you end up with the 21st century phone that enables you and the whole family to connect to people and to any data resource.
What would be the interest of the operator? Just to revitalize fixed communications and drain more ARPU with innovative services like fixed line SMS, video calls, content services, etc. And if you look at the wider picture it may benefit to Mobile Operator too by enabling the 3G video call feature to take off at last. If these devices are to be launched they will for sure revitalize fixed communications and blur the line between fixed and mobile.
MIDs are dead, Long Live The Kitchen Internet Devices!