Mobile chipmaker ARM (s arm) is basking in the attention the iPad (s aapl) is getting. ARM chips are used in all sorts of mobile gadgets, especially in the expected flood of tablets to be released this year. An ARM executive in Taipei has indicated the company expects more than 50 such tablets to be released this year, all powered by the company’s chips.
According to the executive, Roy Chen, the first such slates will appear as early as the second quarter of this year, released by mobile network carriers. That would indicate the phone companies are going to jump on board the tablet train. Most likely they hope to compete with the AT&T/ iPad system (s t). These initial devices will be followed by a host of other tablets in the third quarter, many of them in China.
It is expected that most of these tablets will run either Android (s goog), Linux or Windows CE (s msft) and will be highly optimized for touch operation. I saw one of the early tablet versions in January at the Consumer Electronics Show, and it was impressive. The video of the Freescale concept tablet is included below.
What is amusing is how a lot of this tablet mania seems to be a direct result of the imminent appearance of the iPad. I hate to rain on the tablet makers parade but they’d better be prepared to market their butts off. That’s what it’s going to take to get consumer’s dollars. I do find it amusing that according to the title of the ComputerWorld article linked above, tablets are now “iPad-like devices.” And the iPad is not even in consumer hands yet.
Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):