The consumer electronic market is changing rapidly, key-players are changing their positions and trying to catch the consumer in their digital life. Mobile Phone Manufacturer and Computer Companies are getting closer and closer. The new niche of Netbooks already became a big boom, documented by my friend Sascha on NetbookNews.de (Netbooknews.com).
Since a few years computer manufacture offer notebooks and laptops with integrated 3G Sim cards sometimes in combination with data-plans by a mobile network provider. Netbooks are low-cost laptops optimised for surfing the Internet and performing other basic functions. Pioneered by Asustek with the hit Eee PC in 2007, netbooks have since been rolled out by other brands such as HP and Dell.
But also the smartphones become more and more powerful and merge into small “mini computers”. So the gap between a PC and a mobile phone is almost disappearing and the fight for this market between the industry leaders has started.
Nokia just annouced its first laptop computer, Nokia Booklet 3G.
Nokia’s Executive Vice President for Devices, Kai Oistamo, summed it up simply as follows:
“A growing number of people want the computing power of a PC with the full benefits of mobility. We are in the business of connecting people and the Nokia Booklet 3G is a natural evolution for us. Nokia has a long and rich heritage in mobility and with the outstanding battery life, premium design and all day, always on connectivity, we will create something quite compelling. In doing so we will make the personal computer more social, more helpful and more personal.”
Nokia’s first netbook will use Microsoft’s Windows software and Intel’s Atom processor to offer up to 12 hours of battery life while weighing 1.25 kilograms. Research firm IDC expects netbook shipments this year to grow more than 127 percent from 2008 to over 26 million units, outperforming the overall PC market that is expected to remain flat and a phone market which is shrinking some 10 percent.
“Nokia will be hoping that its brand and knowledge of cellular channels will play to its strengths as it addresses this crowded, cut-throat segment,” said Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight. “At present we see Nokia’s foray into the netbook market as a niche exercise in the context of its broader business.” Nokia’s choice of Windows software surprised some analysts who had expected the company to use Linux in its first laptop.