For the longest time, mobile devices came in clear, separate categories: laptops, phones, handheld game players, and music players. But with the arrival of smartphones, tablets, and smarter everyday gadgets, the market is exploding, mixing together, and fragmenting into different subsectors.
That’s one of the things to expect at the Consumer Electronics Show, which opens this week in Las Vegas, according to the analysts who gave the show’s opening talk to the press. The trend is a sign that companies which focus on creating more specialized gadgets will likely find customers over time, as long as they solve a problem that can’t be solved by a universal device such as a smartphone.
Later in the article they talk about how the ereader market will survive survive the onslaught of tablets and smartphones. They're wrong, actually. The ereader market itself is already fragmenting. Do you recall the several Kindle clones released this year? That's a market fragment just waiting to go in its own direction.
Or consider the Entourage Edge or the Kno. That's another market fragment which has already split off. I'm not quite sure what to call them, but I do know that they're not quite ereaders and they're not quite tablets. Their niche overlaps part of both the tablet market and ereader market. At least that's my opinion based on their features.