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Netbooks And Smartphones Collide In London

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

New portable devices are changing the way people work. Analysts and delegates will touch down at Heathrow to find out how

Netbooks and smartphones have destabilised mobile devices, creating risks and opportunities for anyone involved in the area, according to an innovative event in London later this year.

Netbooks have rewritten Microsoft’s business strategy and inspired a new operating system from Google, while smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone and the Blackberry have created new ways to work. The collision between the two will be explored at the Mobility Forum, held by Canalys on November 17 at Heathrow in London.

“Netbooks are the new act in town, taking many in the industry by surprise and showing quite spectacular shipment growth by carving out a lucrative niche for new kinds of users at low prices, and capitalising on operator subsidies,” said Canalys president Steve Brazier. Combined with smartphones, they are creating challenges, he said, “as two large, but very different, industries rapidly converge.”

Netbooks have lowered the cost of the portable computer, and challenged the business model of existing operating systems – putting pressure on Microsoft’s earnings and inspiring Google Chrome.

Meanwhile, the Apple iPhone is challenging the way people do business and Google has again sparked operating system uncertainties with Android.

“There is no expectation that netbooks will cannibalise smartphones,” said Pete Cunningham, senior analyst at Canalys. But the two use cases are changing the way people work, and have inspired a coherent and challenging day’s agenda, he said.

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