updated 04:55 pm EDT, Mon August 3, 2009
A variety of smartbooks and netbooks integrating ARM-based Snapdragon and Tegra processors are scheduled to ship later this year, according to a DigiTimes report. The devices are being produced by several companies such as Acer, Foxconn, Pegatron, Compal and Inventec.
Sources suggest that Acer is working on both ARM- and Android-based smartbooks, with models expected to arrive on the market in the fourth quarter. Asustek is also waiting for the holiday buying season, as current demand for smartbooks is said to be weak.
Taiwan-based Mobinnova expects its shipments to exceed 500,000 units for the year, with a 8.9-inch Tegra model sold to carriers in the U.S. and Europe. The company also plans to add a 10.1-inch variant early next year. Inventec will launch its own 10-inch Rainbow smartbook at the end of this year.
Qualcomm recently outlined its vision for the future of mobile computing, as smartbooks continue to bridge the gap between smartphones and netbooks. The company's small Snapdragon processor and chipset platform integrates cellular connectivity and Wi-Fi, while supporting small form-factors and full keyboards.
The use of ARM architecture is said to improve power efficiency, enabling the devices to run for between eight and ten hours. Qualcomm last year introduced a dual-core Snapdragon capable of decoding 1080p video, rendering 3D graphics and displaying content at resolutions up to 1440x900. Specific details, however, will vary by the equipment manufacturer.
Although subsidization of netbooks and other computing devices is relatively new in the U.S. market, many analysts expect the trend to continue. Qualcomm expects smartphones to cannibalize the netbook market as the technology continues to develop. The company claims 15 different manufacturers are using its Snapdragon chipsets in over 30 devices. Companies include several handset makers such as LG, HTC and Nokia.