“The entire MID market is nearly all smartphones."

Posted by Zealot on Oct 13, 2009

closeThis post was published 5 years 12 days ago which may make its actuality or expire date not be valid anymore. This site is not responsible for any misunderstanding.

htc-imagio-verizon-540x307 …or so says Dr Robert Castellano, consultant and president of The Information Network following Intel’s Atom presentation at the recent 2009 Intel Developers Forum.

At IDF 2009 Intel President (and previous Atom detractor) Paul Otellini explained that the Atom chipset was slowly metamorphosing into an SoC (System on a Chip, that is, a single chip CPU) specifically to transform from a netbook/notebook chip to a MID (Mobile Internet Device) chip. In that vein, he anticipated "a future where Intel ships more SoC cores than standard PC cores."

Otellini claimed that Intel has more than a dozen SoCs in development using as Atoms which utilize a common set of libraries and interconnect models. He has come a long way from last year, when he dismissed Atom chips as simply toys that would never compete on Intel’s bottom line with Celeron and Centrino chips….but there are those who question his vision of Atom chips spearheading a new sets of MIDs.

However, Castellano was dubious and spoke to Digitimes, saying…

"Is all that investment by Intel going to pay for itself? Just how big is the market for MID anyway? It’s all in the definition and there are varying definitions of MID. We used a more-or-less industry-wide definition in which a MID as a portable device with an always-connectable Internet or area network connectivity, a maximum display of 8-inches in the diagonal dimension, and a full day’s worth of battery life under typical usage scenarios. Guess what, the entire MID market is nearly all smartphones."

I agree completely that the top tier cellphones, such as the iPhone, Palm Pre, HTC Leo or Imagio and Motorola Cliq fulfill Intel’s original vision of a MID…small, always connected consumer devices that provide long battery life and are easy to use for basic internet and multimedia tasks. That the market feels the same is indicated by the fact that no so-called MID device has caught on, with buyers or vendors. I hold to my recent point that the most successful MID thus far has been the iPhone/iPod Touch and that is unlikely to change in the coming year.

Intel continues to try to move Atoms away from products such as netbooks where they feel it will cannibalize their higher margin notebook chips. At this point, it is like closing the barn door after the cow has escaped, caught a bus to town and maxed out your credit card on imported liquor and bulls in tight pants. The Atom chip and netbooks are currently synonymous and inseparable for tech buyers, not even Intel can change that now. Intel would be better served accepting that and finding a strategy to increase their profits from Atoms than they are by still trying to jump start a failed product niche to exile them to.

Castellano is right, many of our smartphones ARE MIDs already, but Intel isn’t ready to admit that yet. It appears that De Nile is a river that runs through Santa Clara, as well.

Zealot (839 Posts) - Website | Twitter | Facebook


By day a department manager and writer for a major network device vendor...by night Zealot stalks the mean magnetic streets, striking fear into the hearts of bandwidth abusers and theme park mascots. Zealot has been involved with mobile devices for more than a decade now, starting off with dumb phones, moving to PDAs and then to smartphones, notebooks and netbooks with the odd PMP thrown in. Most of his mobile time currently is spent on a Treo Pro, Zune HD, Thinkpad T61, HP Mini 311, iPod Touch 3G, iPad 16G or a Hackintoshed Compaq Mini 704. He proudly groks the Geek community and considers himself a Neo Maxi Zune Dweebie (thanks Wil Wheaton!).

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  • heybhouse

    what's the device in the picture?

  • http://bardhaven.wordpress.com Zealot

    HTC Imagio running Windows Mobile 6.5

  • http://twitter.com/mobilitysite/status/4831071943 mobilitysite

    “The entire MID market is nearly all smartphones." http://bit.ly/17FfB3

  • john

    From above, quote: I hold to my recent point that the most successful MID thus far has been the iPhone/iPod Touch and that is unlikely to change in the coming year. End quote.

    And yet…the supposed internet devices cannot access and make use of much of the internet. That is, without Flash of Flash-like capability, the Apple products remain crippled internet devices…for the most part, they cannot stream audio or video without downloads from the app store. They are small and mobile and fun…and technologically behind my six-year old XP desktop.

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    Two points. First, you don't need Flash to stream audio or video. Real was doing it a long time ago, and I could play Internet radio on my Windows Mobile 5 Motorola Q just using IE Mobile and Media Player.

    Second, Flash hardly makes up most of the Internet. With the exception of playing videos/animations/cartoons and some useful tutorials, most Flash Web work is crap — stupid introductions, unnecessarily animated menus or, the worst, whole sites built with Flash with their non-standard scroll bars that you can't even copy text from (fortunately few and far between).

    If you use a lot of Flash sites, maybe the iPhone isn't for you, but I bet a lot of us could live without it quite nicely.

    Steve

  • john

    You may have read more into my comment than I wrote…or intended to write. I'm not a fan of Flash but I am a fan of videos and audio streams on the 'net, particularly internet radio. For the most part I don't care what plays the streams on my Touch, I just want it to play. That's why I wrote of the lack of “Flash-like capability.” Sadly, the Apple products usually require an app specific for the web site or an app that plays mutlitple sites, But even the apps that play multiple stations don't play them all which necessitates multiple 'radio players.' Even then, there are stations that stream on the internet but have no app that allows them to stream to the iPhone/Touch.

    Crippled internet devices the Apple products are. While, as you contend, Flash does not make up “most” of the internet, “much” of the internet, as I wrote, cannot be directly accessed by these supposed internet devices. They suffer limitations that my six-year old desktop does not or, as you pointed out, do not match the capabilities of what Real did a long time ago with older, non-Apple players.

    I like my Touch…I like it's size and I am content with what capabilities it has. But I am discontented with the capabilities it doesn't have and I won't be buying any new models until the mobile *internet* device can access the internet…the entire internet.

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    Crippled internet devices the Apple products are. While, as you contend, Flash does not make up “most” of the internet, “much” of the internet, as I wrote, cannot be directly accessed by these supposed internet devices.

    I intentionally used “most” instead of “much”. “Most” means the same thing to “most” people — more than 50%. “Much” is very ambiguous; to me it would be at least 10% of Web pages, and I'd be surprised if Flash has that much reach.

    I also think referring to the devices as “crippled” is wrong. First, remember that these aren't meant to be real PCs; they're meant to provide “most” (not all) of the capabilities you need in a portable device.

    Second, the word “crippled” in tech has come to mean that a device had the function but that function was removed (like Verizon crippling Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS on various devices).

    The iPhone never had Flash, so while it may be “crippled” in the sense of a birth defect (in other words, something not designed in), the function wasn't removed.

    That second point is just semantics, of course; the first point is the big one, as we'll see again later.

    I like my Touch…I like it's size and I am content with what capabilities it has. But I am discontented with the capabilities it doesn't have and I won't be buying any new models until the mobile *internet* device can access the internet…the entire internet.

    Really? So you won't buy another device until it supports not just Flash, but Java, QuickTime VR, Real, Windows Media, SVG, Flashpix and any of the hundreds of other technologies that may exist on some Web site somewhere?

    Again, these devices aren't meant to be full-function, do-everything PCs. Expecting that will almost always lead to disappointment.

    Steve

  • john

    You're right…we're getting into semantics. Interestingly (?), I originally wrote “most” and then changed to “much” mostly :) for that reason…it's not most, but it is much of the internet that can't be accessed by the iPhone/Touch. And you're also right that expecting more from the devices than what has been made available leads to disappointment. On the other hand… ;)

    What should we expect of a “mobile internet device”? The Apple products have quite nicely got the “mobile” part down, I think. What should we expect of its internet capability? Is a device internet capable or not? Or does it fall somewhere in between. Obiviously, it's in between. Maybe it should be referred to as a 'partial' internet device?

    As you can tell, I think it's a big shortfall for any device that's called a MID not to be able to stream audio or video from the site of my choice. Without that capability I don't have any motivation to upgrade my “MID.” But the shortfall is not unique to Apple. I pick on them because the iPhone/Touch has the rep of being the 'computer/internet device in the pocket' and at this point I think the rep and the moniker of “MID” is an exaggeration.

    And so I circle back to semantics. :)

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    I agree with you about the iPhone/iPod Touch. So many people have called them “pocket computers” that people could be mislead into overestimating their capabilities.

    However, I still think you're parsing things a bit finely with your definition of “Mobile Internet Device”. The fact is that it is mobile, it does allow you to access the Internet (well, a large part of it) and it is a device. Calling it a “Partial Internet Device” seems a bit much. (By the way, does Apple ever call the iPhone or the iPod Touch MIDs? If not, your argument is with the people who do, not Apple for leaving out Flash….)

    Consider your basic Web browser. None that I know of ship with Flash support built-in; they require plug-ins. Would you call them “Partial Web browsers”? Or consider Firefox, which doesn't render some pages designed for IE well. Is Firefox a “Partial Web browser”? Is IE?

    I understand your point — you want better support for commonly used Web plug-ins — and that's good. I just think calling things “crippled” will get you flamed more than stating your perfectly reasonable position. :D

    Steve

    P.S. Purists could even argue that “Mobile Internet Device” is more misleading than you do. The “Internet” consists of more than just the Web. There are also E-mail, Gopher, newsgroups, Finger, etc. Maybe “Mobile Web Device” would be a better name, but that doesn't have as good an acronym. :D

  • john

    OK. I concede your point. I'll no longer use the term 'crippled'…from here on out I'll write, “…hasn't been all it could be.” :) But I'll delay any new purchases until there's a Touch that will stream without relying upon *multiple* apps.

    I really, really like the Touch and I yearn for the day that Apple and Adobe kiss and make up. :) But if something similar beats Apple to the punch…

  • john

    OK. I concede your point. I'll no longer use the term 'crippled'…from here on out I'll write, “…hasn't been all it could be.” :) But I'll delay any new purchases until there's a Touch that will stream without relying upon *multiple* apps.

    I really, really like the Touch and I yearn for the day that Apple and Adobe kiss and make up. :) But if something similar beats Apple to the punch…

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