ARM chief expects tablet sales near 60M next year

Tablet sales could peak at around 60 million units next year, according to the CEO of ARM Holdings, who dismissed competition in the fast-growing market from Intel.

ARM, which licenses mobile processor architecture to Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Texas Instruments, Samsung and others, expects to dominate the tablet market in the months ahead, CEO Warren East told the Financial Times. ARM's architecture powers Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, which captured 95 percent of the 4.4 million tablets sold in the third quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

East said that a number of new tablets will be displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and that tablet sales "will be what they will be. They could be anywhere from 30m to 60m [but] probably at the higher end of that range." Gartner expects tablet sales to jump from 19.5 million this year to 54 million in 2011.

Intel, meanwhile, has made no secret of its desire to capture more of the mobile computing market, including tablets. Intel CEO Paul Otellini said last month that Intel is going to "utilize all of the assets at our disposal to win this segment: the world's best silicon technology, the world's best architecture, and our global scale." He added that in "the coming months and quarters you will see Intel solutions in Windows, Android and MeeGo operating systems across a variety of form factors and price points" for tablets.

East dismissed any potential competition from Intel's Atom chipset line. He said while Intel's chips may appear in some tablets next year "Atom designs are just not good enough in terms of power consumption [right now]. Intel knows this."

For more:
- see this FT article

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