New device categories almost invariably fall between preexisting ones. Sometimes they find a useful niche, like netbooks. Other times, they seem like obsessive compulsive attempts to fill a tiny, intentional gap in the spectrum of consumer electronics. Like MID phones!
These confusing little monsters have been popping up all over Computex. They're essentially mobile internet devices, except outfitted with voice-ready 3G SIM slots and marketed as handsets. Like most Mobile Internet Devices, they're Atom-based Windows XP devices, which means their batteries last, oh, about three hours, and that they're too big to be pocketable. As for why anyone would want a phone number permanently assigned to one of these devices, I have no idea.
The whole thing is even stranger when you consider what else is being shown at Computex, namely products based on Intel's upcoming Moorestown platform and Qualcomm's Snapdragon, two solutions that could potentially be used to build a new generation of more powerful, MID-like smartphones, that, at least for the tasks at hand, would actually outperform these clunky Atom mongrels, while lasting long enough to actually consider using. Oh, Computex. [Pocketables]