Further revelations from the supply chain analysts' crystal ball

iSuppli says a quarter of notebooks to be ARM-based by 2015

Supply chain analysts IHS iSuppli has said that notebooks based on ARM processors will be nearly a quarter of all notebook sales in 2015.

Releasing another tidbit from their "Desktop and Notebook PC Technology Penetration Forecast" report, iSuppli said that the x86 processor is "finally is set for some real competition," spurred on, the firm said, by the introduction of the ARM-compatible Windows 8 operating system.

iSuppli virtually omitted any reference to the trend towards ARM processors in the firm’s release last week but now iSuppli analyst Matthew Wilkins says: "ARM is well-suited for value notebooks, where performance isn’t a key criterion for buyers."

The lightweight category of notebooks has so far been dominated by so-called netbooks largely powered by Intel’s Atom processor. However the netbook category is suffered badly in the mobile revolution with consumers either opting for more capable notebooks or truly mobile devices instead.

It’s interesting iSuppli thinks the take up of ARM in notebooks will be all about Windows 8. While the firm noted ARM had "achieved enormous popularity in the mobile phone and tablet worlds," it apparently doesn’t think new operating systems such as ChromeOS or the smartphone/tablet derived Android Honeycomb will be a driver of ARM notebooks.

Given the rapacious pace of development in mobile, predicting which way ARM notebooks will go out to 2015 seems a risky proposition.

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