updated 01:40 pm EDT, Tue July 19, 2011
Viliv exits business as tablets take over
Korean device maker Viliv may have closed down if a pair of sources are correct. The Mobile Internet Device (MID) pioneer is now understood to be in receivership and hasn't had a buyer to rescue its business. UMPCPortal in getting the tips was unable to get a response from Viliv on the subject.
Clues may have surfaced as early as March that Viliv was in trouble. After a contact left, the company stopped running web ads and refused to sign onboard despite a previously warm reception. The company didn't show at Taiwan's Computex trade show last month and has stopped running its US phone support.
Viliv was one of the longest-lasting and prominent supporters of MIDs and their close cousins ultramobile PCs (UMPCs). Its focus was often on providing the smallest possible devices with a full desktop OS, such as the S7 and X70. It later got into netbook/tablet convertibles and, near the end, pure tablet entries like the X70 Slate.
The company's apparent death is likely due to the iPad and, to a lesser extent, Android tablets. Viliv put virtually all of its trust in Microsoft and Intel, both of whom have so far failed to get much success in mobile. The decision left it with devices that weren't fully touch-optimized and which were often thicker and shorter-lived on battery than current tablets. True mobile operating systems eventually slipped in with Android hardware like the P3 Prime but saw them enter into a much more crowded field.
Its exit paradoxically comes at a time just as Windows tablets may finally get relevance, both through a genuine touch interface in Windows 8 and much more efficient ARM processors.