ARM-based processors to dominate MID market by 2013

ABI researcher Jeff Orr has predicted that ARM-based processors – and not X86 chips – will dominate the MID market by 2013.

“While an estimated 90 percent of Ultra-mobile Devices (UMDs) shipped in 2009 were based on an x86 processor architecture, the introduction of ARM-based systems introduces greater choice and differentiation for system vendors,” claimed Orr.

“2010 will be pivotal for building momentum behind non-x86 solutions, and gaining adoption in both distribution channels and by end-user populations worldwide.”

Orr explained that second-generation UMDs were becoming more prevalent, with a growing number of netbooks based on ARM platforms appearing in the mainstream marketplace.

“[This] trend [was] no doubt helped by the perception that ARM-based systems are heavily oriented towards an ‘always connected’ mode of operation. Additionally, ARM-based products are coming out in a growing variety of different form-factors including tablets.”

He added that the proliferation of netbooks and other mobile devices featuring ARM-based processors would be sure to “exacerbate” a rising demand for faster data access.

“Operators are working out their strategies for capacity expansion based on today’s best expectations of future demand from data-centric devices. The main issues revolve around backhaul, followed by increased 3G and 4G BTS deployments.”