While Intel continues to dominate the x86 processor market, having shipped 80% of all x86 chips in the 1st Quarter of 2012, it has a much smaller footprint in the mobile processor market, where chips based on ARM Holdings (ARMH) designs, such as Apple‘s (AAPL) A5 Qualcomm‘s (QCOM) Snapdragon, Samsung‘s (SSNLF.PK) Exynos and Texas Instrument‘s (TI) OMAP, have competitive market shares.
Some have actually suggested that Apple, owing to the dominance of the iPad in the tablet market, could actually become the leader in mobile processors by the end of 2012. The truth of the matter is not that simple. While it may come to pass that Apple-branded chips could ship the most numbers in 2012, for all intents and purposes, the true battle is between Intel and ARM. With its vast array of ARM-based licensees, ARM could rightly claim to have close to 80% of the non-x86 mobile processor market.
Intel has responded by accelerating the development of its own high-performance, low-power mobile processors. Initially, Intel focused on the then-fast-growing Netbook market with its Atom processors. However, as it became apparent that consumers prefer tablets, Intel has shifted its focus to its 32nm process-based Medfield processor.Medfield should finally reach consumers’ pockets when Lenovo (LNVGY.PK) launches its K800 smartphone this month.To continue reading, click here.