August 3, 2009 at 4:36 pm
A number of manufacturers are preparing ARM-based smartbooks based on Snapdragon and Tegra processors to launch during the fourth quarter according to Taiwanese industry sources. Smartbooks are expected from the likes of netbook heavyweights such as Asus and Acer along with Mobinnova, Inventec and ODMs such as Foxconn, Pegatron and Compal.
These units will launch at a similar time to new netbooks using Intel’s next-gen Pineview processors. However, the smartbooks are likely to be cheaper and smaller devices than netbooks. They are also more likely to be sold through contracts from telecom providers rather than on a standalone basis.
According to the report, Acer has developed a smartbook that will feature Google Android and launch in Q4. Asus is not planning on launching any ARM-based smartbooks until November or December at the earliest.
Mobinnova showed off a number of ARM smartbook prototypes during Computex. It will launch an 8.9-inch smartbook based on the Tegra platform (ARM processor combined with Nvidia GPU) towards the end of the year and has already landed orders from both US and European mobile operators.
Additionally, it will also launch an ultra-thin 8.9-inch smartbook as well as a 10.1-inch model during H1 2010. Production is being outsourced to original design manufacturer, Foxconn, with estimates of up to 500,000 units being shipping in 2009 alone.
Handset manufacturer, Inventec is expected to launch a 10-inch Tegra-based ‘Rainbow’ smartbook at the end of the year and is currently in talks with mobile operators to jointly market these devices.