The recent excitement over small carry-along computers has been fairly high.Â These small, fairly cheap ($300 to $400) machines have been emerging as a category.Â Asus got things started with the eePC and now mainstream companies like Dell have their own models.Â We noted that they obviously carry smaller gross and net dollars for the industry than full fledged notebooks but they didn’t represent that many units.
But then we added the recession and data out of several research firms showing a rather drastic decline in expected IT spending in the current quarter (budget flush gets flushed?) and in Q1 of 2009.Â That’s not much of a surprise.
At the same time we were surprised to see relatively strong continuing plans on the purchase of smartphones. In particular the Blackberry and the iPhone are looking like business adoption will remain brisk.Â Is it coincidence or is there some relationship?
Obviously Cloud Computing will ultimately mean less processing power needed in stand-alone configurations as only the basic UI and network connections will be really needed for many basic functions.Â Unless somone is actively creating presentations, documents or content, it’s now possible to do most things on a smartphone.Â
It’s more than email.Â Web browsing, social networking, even stock trading applications are well established.Â The wave of new applications coming for the iPhone and Blackberry are such that more and more people will leave their laptops at home.Â Especially for short trips.
Like many things this is pretty "obvious" and we wrote about the trend three times already this year in our Mobile Internet segment.Â However the stock market has punished every name on our list.
These emerging data points increase our conviction on core names like Apple and Google.Â We’re in no rush to buy anything in this market but as the year turns over we will be adding to positions in these names.Â The data continues to suggest these firms are getting stronger, not weaker as we work through the recession.Â