Amazon’s new Kindle e-book reader device and ASUSTek Computer’s ultra-mobile Eee PC are "conspicuous examples" of a new class of internet-connected products that will become popular over the next five years.
"Both Amazon’s Kindle and the ASUS Eee PC represent the kinds of devices that we forecast would proliferate along with mobile broadband access," said Stan Schatt, vice president and research director at ABI Research.
Kindle is a portable document reader that accesses the internet via a 3G cellular connection and allows quick purchase, download, and reading of all kinds of books and documents. The Eee PC, a tiny, rugged computer with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi access, is aimed a lowering the threshold for consumers to enjoy an online life anywhere, at any time.
The research predicts that some 90 million consumers worldwide will be accessing such devices by 2012. The largest group will be in search of personal navigation devices, but a substantial 14 million will come from a "greenfield" category representing entirely new applications.
"Because this is such a new field, MID makers are in the dark about where their customers will come from," added Schatt.
"ABI Research has estimated the conversion rates for many traditional portable devices becoming internet-enabled, but significantly there are brand new categories coming out, offering completely new applications. The Kindle is one of the first of these, and we will see more, as yet undreamed of, concepts entering this market."
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