MIDs and UMPCs: Concept Looking for A Usage Scenario?

And I thought I was bearish on the future of UMPCs and MIDs. Brier Dudley of the Seattle Times is wondering what happened to the UMPC platform and links to an IDG story that is even more bearish on the future of mobile devices. The arugment essentially boils down to the fact that there isn’t a compelling usage scenario for these devices yet. In the IDG piece there are some interesting quotes and observations worth noting:

  • The LG UMPC we saw at CES may never ship according to an LG official.
  • HP’s Paul McKinny says: “There’s a lot of people coming out with products, I don’t think anybody’s found what the killer application or what that killer use case model really is.”
  • Alp Sezen of Via Technologies says the key is better broadband speeds.
  • Bluetooth support for making phone calls might be a key?
  • and HP’s McKinney says: “Let a marketing person loose for 10 minutes and they’ll come up with a category. You can say UMPC or MID, what the hell’s the difference?”

I know I’m off in a corner beating a drum loudly by myself, but I still think the boat was missed when Inking was essentially abandoned on the UMPC form factor, and the rush to add keyboards ensued. Beyond that point, there’s some merit to the arguments here, as the rush to make a small device for media consumption that some work can be done on is essentially creating yet another category of portable media players.