updated 08:00 am EST, Wed March 10, 2010
ARM exec sees tablet use exploding
The number of touchscreen tablets running on ARM chips is set to explode even in 2010, the company's global mobile device ODM manager Roy Chen said today. While the iPad is the most conspicuous of these, Chen anticipates over 50 shipping in 2010. The first are due in the spring and will largely be attached to cellular carriers. There will be "a lot more" in the summer, the manager said.
Among the range on its way, some are destined to reach the top 10 cellular carriers worldwide. Many will be local to Chinese-speaking areas and will run either Android or Windows CE. Chen showed commonly known Compal and Armadillo prototypes running Android. A number of newcomers are expected to bring Android tablets to the US, including ICD and Notion Ink; Dell's Mini 5 will straddle the line between these tablets and media players.
Many observers expect Apple to get a significant share of the market and to potentially ship as many as 5 million iPads in the next few months, almost immediately making its device the most popular touch-only tablet. Most of its early sales will be limited to North America and Europe, however, and won't directly compete with most southeast Asian rivals.
The launches are a significant blow to Intel as it has tried to pitch the Atom as a solution for tablets and MIDs (mobile Internet devices) but with only limited success. Apart from a likely inclusion in the HP slate, it has had little traction as the chip until recently often hasn't had acceptably long battery life.