TG Daily has a nice piece by Wolfgang Gruener on Intel's plans for the UMPC. The UMPC is the ultra mobile PC that was introduced some time back by Microsoft as the then mysterious Origami Project. Later I reviewed one of the earlier offerings from Samsung called the Q1. (Picture courtesy of Samsung.)
I remember being struck by the idea that the device didn't quite know if it was a business or consumer tool, and at more than $1000, I couldn't see many people running out to buy one. Seems I was right (nice to be right once in a while). According to Gruener's article, Intel has decided to scrap the UMPC (or at least send it to the niche market pile) in favor of a new mass-market device it's dubbing the Mobile Internet Device or MID (because we couldn't do this without another acronym).
As described, this device will be smaller than a notebook or a UMPC, but larger than a phone, with wireless access. It will be too low-powered to run Vista and will probably run some flavor Linux instead. So it's good for Internet access, some games, maybe watching videos or listening to music. This is all beginning to sound familiar. Oh yea, Steve Jobs introduced just such a device with an elegant interface, Apple's typically sleek designs and don't forget it's also a phone, a component missing from the proposed MID. It's called the iPhone.
And here's the best part. The proposed MID target price is around $500, certainly much more attractive than the $1000 UMPCs, but also right in the iPhone price range. Oh my. If I'm a consumer with $500 in disposable cash to spend on a gadget, am I going to buy the iPhone or the MID? If there's a market here, and it remains to be seen if there is, my money is on Apple in this battle.