Smartphones and Netbooks: Closer Than Kissing Cousins

You know how you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover? Well, when it comes to smartphones and netbooks, a semiconductor research firm is predicting that in fact the cover — or rather, the device casing — may soon be one of the only ways to tell the two apart. Portelligent has analyzed the silicon guts of some of the latest generation of netbooks and smartphones, and concluded that they’re becoming more alike — something that should come as no surprise to our readers.

1556chart_pg24EETimes reports that the cost and amount of silicon inside both types of portable devices are getting closer, and that the only remaining distinctions between the two can be found in the form factor and power consumption (I would add voice to that). But as firms like Nvidia (s NVDA) and Texas Instruments (s TXN) get their powerful, yet power-sipping ARM-based (s ARMH) application processors into mobile Internet devices and netbooks, the power consumption difference could disappear. Especially if OEMs choose those processors over Intel’s (s INTC) Atom.