Reports from Taiwan are suggesting that Sony Ericsson is the latest manufacturer to bring out a device that bridges the gap between netbook and smartphone.

The idea is it will sit somewhere (in terms of size and functionality) between the Sony Vaio P and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1.

The report states a "reliable Taiwanese source which is directly connected to a lot of smartphone - and upcoming smartbook-manufacturers" has confirmed the company is looking at such a model, which would run one of the new chipsets from the likes of Qualcomm or ARM.

Sony Ericss-on or off?

There's not a huge amount of other information, and it's quite likely to only be a formative idea at the moment given the company's financial predicament, but it shows that the segment is growing in popularity.

The likes of Intel, with the x86 processor, and others like Qualcomm with the 1GHz Snapdragon processor are looking to supply to these mobile internet devices, which bring advanced smartphone functionality and some laptop-style specification.

Early reports believe these devices will begin gaining popularity next year and will be then set to ride the 4G wave, when true high-speed mobile internet will be widely available.

Via NetbookNews