A UMPC for the Fairer Sex…. and my take on UMPC marketing.

Ladies, they’re making this one for you! The Walletino, from UltraMobileLife comes an interesting concept device which is one part laptop, one part UMPC, and discreet enough to pass as a wallet.

Side note: I asked my girlfriend what her thoughts were first two questions out of her mouth “The make up would be messy.” and “Does it come in pink?” She pointed out that the make up which is seen in the concept image would become dry, cracked, and powdered which could get inside the UMPC. But she did say she liked the overall idea, and mentioned that it should come in multiple colors not excluding pink. She mentioned having multiple colors to help accessorize.

Now onto the marketing (or lack there of) of the UMPC. So i’m not the first chap to touch on this. First it was Hugo and Neil over at the ubertablet blog, then Steve over at Carrypad, I’ve got an opinion and dammit i’ll let everyone know that as well!

Question: Should the UMPC be moved from the Value Added Retail markets which it currently resides to the general consumer markets (Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, etc.)?

Short answer, I don’t think so. I’ve got a few reasons to back up this conclusion:

Now I will agree that many people are familiar with using Windows. However a UMPC is new take on the Windows OS, I’m referring to the Tablet OS side of Windows. Not only the normal Tablet OS, but also the touch pack which ships with the UMPC’s this is new to most everyone. While it can be done there will be a learning curve for many, and this curve may take time to overcome.

I’ve had more than a few discussions with interested persons regarding the UMPC however in many cases, the person with which I was speaking did not know the full functionality of a UMPC. They didn’t realize that it runs a fully blown version of Windows with (for better or worse) all the bells and whistles included. Most people don’t realize that you could run Microsoft Office, IE (or Firefox), your IM client of choice, listen to your music, or watch videos.

So would I be happy if I walked into CompUSA tomorrow and saw a display of Q1’s? Yes and no. You may have a few customers, but until people are educated and interested in the product, the UMPC will just sit on store shelves, sit in back rooms, and not be sold. Now price is quite an obvious issue at the moment which I won’t bother to say anything more about but I think the key to the UMPC being a successful product lies in the education of potential customers because until people know that the UMPC might be something for them, it will just be another expensive technology gadget.

Now I will say many are ill informed. Here’s where I side step the issue a second and say for those who are informed, who do have UMPC’s, those who blog about this great immerging technology, take the time to point out how a UMPC would be beneficial to Bob down the street, or Sue at work, or that guy in the cafe who you notice keeps stealing glances at your new UMPC. I think for those of us in the know, it is somewhat our responsibility to take the initiative to educate people about how a UMPC may be beneficial to them, and therefore make them interested potential customers.

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