Is the iPhone the Netbook You’ve Been Looking For?

The tech world has been obsessed of late with the idea of the Netbook: “a light-weight, low-cost, energy-efficient, highly portable laptop suitable for web browsing, email and general purpose applications — primarily noted for its small form factor.” What many are starting to realize is that Apple iPhone, and the wifi-connected sibling, the iPod Touch, might actually be the Netbook they were looking for.

AdMob, a network for mobile advertising, reports that 42% of all requests to AdMob’s partners from iPhone devices came from a wifi connection, rather than a mobile network. This is in contradistinction to other mobile devices, which tend to hover around the 10%-20% range.

The fact is, the iPhone/iPod Touch are powerful, internet connected devices. Their small form-factor make them the perfect device for quick, occasional access to networked resources, the one drawback being that the input method is somewhat cumbersome, but usually picked up pretty quickly. We recently got an iPod Touch in our home, and the device has quickly become the family favorite for quick checking of email or weather, or playing games. AdMobs data suggests that many are finding the same to be the case, that the iPhone/iPod is more than just a music device/cool phone, but a very powerful networked device that has utility and implications well beyond the traditional mp3 player or PDA.