Taiwan handset makers reluctant to develop Intel MID products
Daniel Shen, Taipei; Steve Shen, DIGITIMES [Thursday 4 October 2007]
Intel has been soliciting Taiwan handset makers for cooperation on MID (mobile Internet device) products, but most makers, with the exception of High Tech Computer (HTC) and Qisda (the parent company of BenQ), are still reluctant to join with Intel due to limited prospects for MID products in the near future, according to sources at Taiwan-based handset makers.
Following HTC's forthcoming Microsoft Windows Vista-based Shift UMPC (ultra-mobile PC), the company is keen on the development of new products utilizing its R&D capability for PC and communications products and is expected to roll out pure MID devices in the future, the sources noted.
Qisda's notebook R&D team, instead of its handset team, is currently developing MID-based products, with the development inclining towards a PC framework, revealed the sources, indicating that Qisda is likely to come out with its first MID device in the first half of 2008.
However, some Taiwan handset makers contend that MID/UMPC devices are more like PC products in terms of function, even though most MID/UMPC platforms also come with 3G connectivity.
In addition, the market for MID/UMPC products is likely to top only several million units a year prior to 2010, said the sources, citing data from a number of market research firms.
Although ABI Research has estimated that sales of MID/UMPC devices may reach 96 million units in 2012, the MID/UMPC market by then is incomparable with the handset market which is expected to top over one billion units in 2007, argued handset makers.