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Mobile Web DevicesShould Stress Service: ABI

New York — Mobile Internet device (MID) manufacturers “have only a window in which to build devices and business models that users will adopt,” and should stress service, said market research firm ABI Research today.

The conclusion is part of its larger report on the topic: “Mobile Devices Annual Market Overview.”

“CE manufacturers try to stay relevant in the face of phones that perform multiple functions ‘well enough,’ ” said ABI Research director Kevin Burden. “Mobile Internet devices promise to deliver that relevance, but consumers aren’t clamoring for these new devices yet. That means consumer electronics vendors must get the user experience and the economic model right from the start. If consumers are not hooked by a compelling experience right away, they’ll stick with what they’ve got.”

In a release today, Burden stressed the importance of providing a functional product with an adequate service infrastructure that will meet the needs of a customer who likely uses multiple devices with overlapping features. “The lessons of Apple’s iPod/iPhone/iTunes integration and the RIM’s back-end infrastructure are not lost on [consumer electronics manufacturers]. What’s the best model for multiple device ownership? Consumers want one service plan and one bill for all their connected devices,” said Burden.

Burden concluded that the goal for vendors and operators developing these kinds of connected devices is to “find new ways of delivering connectivity without forcing users to buy another service plan.”