The biggest motivator behind MID adoption may be the most basic: cost. As component prices fall and specs improve, these handhelds may draw an increasing number of consumer eyes, especially among home users who want to surf the Web on something bigger than a smart phone. That’s why nearly every MID maker we have spoken with argues that the major carriers will need to rethink their data plan pricing to make owning multiple 3G (or 4G) devices more affordable. Perhaps AT&T’s $30 unlimited plan for the iPad is a sign of things to come.
“MIDs are starting to sell well and become more popular,” said Dynamism’s Krone. “The key for wider adoption is simply price. People want deeper experiences than smart phones can deliver, and at affordable prices.”
Even without carrier subsidies, Viliv’s Lee believes that MIDs can appeal to a portion of the population who wants handheld devices with larger screens and more power. “People who want more productivity or a better multimedia experience will choose a bigger form factor and higher functionality, which is a MID,” he said.