Ultramobile-device sales to match laptops by 2013

Shipments of devices such as netbooks and MIDs will reach 200 million in five years, to generate £15bn in revenue, according to research

Demand for ultramobile devices — such as netbooks and MIDs (mobile internet devices) — will match that of notebook PCs by 2013, according to research.

Shipments of ultramobile devices will grow from 10 million units this year to over 200 million in 2013, ABI Research said in a statement on Wednesday.

This puts the market on a par with the notebook-PC market, which the research analyst said will also reach around 200 million unit shipments by 2013.

According to Philip Solis, principal analyst at ABI Research, the ultramobile-device market will be worth nearly $27bn (£15bn). While small compared to the wireless-handset market, this figure is "significant" nonetheless, Solis said.

Netbooks currently account for about 90 percent of ultramobile-device shipments, but MID units will grow more rapidly, contributing 68 percent to the overall market by 2013, the report noted.

Solis added: "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 subsidise them, to encourage new data-plan subscriptions."