The Information Network analyst Robert Castellano writes ARM is expected to overtake Intel in the netbook and smartbook market in 2012. Currently, Intel holds 94 percent of this market but the cheaper cost and better battery life of devices based on ARM chips is expected to turn to cause a major shift.
Indeed Castellano sees the market splitting between Intel-powered netbooks and ARM-powered smartbooks, and offering slightly different market offerings. Netbooks will cost more than $200 and offer just 3.5 hours of operation on battery while being Windows-compatible. In contrast ARM smartbooks will cost less than $200, run Linux or Chrome operating systems and last 8 hours between recharges.
As such Castellano asserts that ARM processors, not Intel's Atom, will benefit from the current technology-economic cycle. In 2009 netbooks (powered by Intel) will hit 22.1 million units while the market for smartbooks powered by ARM will number 1.4 million.