Samsung is planning the third refresh of its UMPC range in Q1 2009, likely to unveil the new designs at CES in January. That's the word from Jeongseon Euh, Principal R&D Engineer in Samsung’s Computer Systems Division; in an interview with Tech Radar, Euh confirmed that the company has a 65-percent market share in the UMPC segment, and is using that lead to experiment with alternative form-factors. In terms of total sales, Samsung has shifted approximately 100,000 of the different Q1 versions worldwide.
Euh admits that sales have been small compared to other segments, but according to the Sales & Marketing department that isn't a barrier to the upcoming refresh
"In that market segment [pricing] is between $800-$1700 USD. It’s not a device you can buy for Christmas, it’s [more] expensive for a specific purpose ... We are going to continue to refresh our product for the price point market because we still see customers need this" Samsung sales & marketing spokesperson
That's led some to speculate how Samsung will update the UMPC, especially with the Eee and other budget ultraportable notebooks grabbing much of the companion-device market. Obviously the processor will come in for some attention - Intel's Atom is getting the most hat-tips - and more fettling to the keyboard that appeared on the Q1 Ultra. Personally, I'd love to see a dual active/passive touchscreen, as seen on some of the full Tablet PCs, which would play nicely with both fingers and a digital pen.
What could convince you to pick up a UMPC in 2009? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.