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Punters call for laptops with built-in mobiles

GSM/Microsoft ask 'how can we improve your notebooks'?

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The most sought-after notebook computer improvement is the addition of a built-in mobile phone, a survey has found.

Microsoft teamed up with the GSM Association (GSMA), a trade body which promotes mobile phone adoption and standardisation, to ask punters what they would really like in their notebook computers.

Pyramid Research carried out the survey of 12,000 punters across 13 countries, and found that 88 per cent of respondents would like to see mobile broadband built into their sub-$1,000 notebooks.

We'd all like to see instantaneous access to the internet from wherever we are, ideally for free, so it's unsurprising that those surveyed felt the same. One can only wonder what the other 12 per cent were hoping for.

The survey also found that 60 per cent of respondents would happily buy a mobile contract with their notebook, but only 15 per cent were interested in an additional module to handle phone-network connectivity, currently the most popular way of achieving ubiquitous internet access.

To encourage development of embedded GSM technology, the GSMA is asking manufacturers to send over their designs, and promises to show off the best one come the Mobile World Congress (the show formerly know as 3GSM) in February.

Network operators have been keen to support the idea, which should also come as no surprise, but they should be worried by the details of the study.

Fifty-seven per cent of those who want to see a mobile phone embedded in their notebook computer are in the Asia Pacific region, only 15 per cent come from North America (possibly due to the pervasiveness of Wi-Fi), and a mere 11 per cent were from Europe, perhaps reflecting European cynicism over the cost of mobile data. ®

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