The annual market for the integrated circuits that go into Smartbooks, netbooks and mobile internet devices (MIDs), including application processors, basebands, RF transceivers and others, is going to reach $9.7 billion in 2014, according to the company.
While definitions of the different consumer devices remain fluid, the popularity of netbooks and smartbooks is expected to spur growth of both PC mobile broadband and handset-centric mobile Internet subscriptions. Forward Concepts predicted these would reach 295 million and 1.3 billion, respectively, in 2014.
Forward Concepts expects netbooks to take market share from notebook computers and smartbooks/MIDs are expected to take market share from smartphones
The 3G Netbook category is going to demonstrate 124 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) reaching 34 million units in 2014 and a 45 percent 3G/LTE attachment rate, Forward Concepts said. Meanwhile smartbooks and mobile internet devices (MIDs) are set to ship with near-ubiquitous 3G/LTE connectivity. Forward Concepts projects these devices to grow at a 176 percent CAGR reaching 63 million units in 2014.
LTE networks are due to emerge in 2010 and are set to be the fastest growing air-interface technology. The attachment of netbooks and smartbooks/MIDs via LTE is set to reach 5 million and 4.1 million connections, respectively, in 2014, Forward Concepts asserted.
"As a result of the limited upward mobility of the non-captive Smartphone OS, smartbooks are currently lacking an 'anchor' web-centric, multitasking and lightweight OS capable of fully exploiting the ARM-based applications processors," said Satish Menon, an analyst with Forward Concepts. He added: "It is unlikely that Microsoft will be porting Windows7 to ARM platforms, but Maemo, Android, and Chrome are among early OS candidates for Smartbooks, whether they be based on ARM processors or on X86 platforms, like Intel's upcoming Moorestown."
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