No matter what kind of consumer electronics you make it seems you've got to add some sort of internet device to the portfolio. Sharp's addition (at least in Japan) is its 5-inch Netwalker that has a touchscreen and runs Ubuntu.
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!
At the Intel Developer Forum last week, a lot of the buzz on the demo floor was around new Atom hardware. There were the requisite netbooks and EeeClones floating around, but it seemed like peculiar little quasi-computers, or palmtop Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) stole the show. Sure, it's impressive to see a full,…