The W3C has defined a minimum device for delivering Web content. Device manufacturers and Content developers can develop to this device description, as a minimum. Graceful upgrade for more sophisticated devices is clearly the ideal.
This is called the "Default Delivery Context" or DDC. See the description of a minimum device here: DDC.
A growing number of non-traditional devices can connect to the internet and can run browsers to process html and xhtml.
Check out the XO Laptop at their site. They are offering a Give One Get One sale through Dec 31st 2007. In the US and Canada, you can send $400 to donate one laptop to a child in a developing country to purchase one laptop for to give to a child you know, or to use to develop software for the laptop (preferrably open source).
Most of the other products can be found in general retail stores for computers, games and electronics. To find the mobile devices mentioned above quickly on Amazon, check out the Manatee Road Resources Store.
DAISY book players can be dedicated hardware devices. They can also be software for computers or other multi-function devices. Details will be posted here once I get a chance to try some myself.
Will companies begin testing content with each mobile browser and/or simulators? Will a set sub-group of browsers emerge as the browsers worthy of support? Or will standards take center stage with content developers testing against standard and letting browser manufactures do the same?
I certainly hope we all decide to move in the direction of standards. If this happens, content developers can state support for particular standards, rather than particular browsers.
But, Web Developers will still want to be familiar with the browser-types, screen-types, and control devices that are emerging today & most importantly, how people interact with these tools. Browsers are emerging with vastly different funcationality. To take advantage of new browsers, testing in each category of device will be important to ensure the best user experiences. To that end, the list below explores the emerging browser categories.