ARM, Intel Rivalry Could Lead to Laptop Price War

Dennis Faas's picture

According to a new report, it's expected that Windows 8 will ship with a number of new, low-cost notebook computers. Looking ahead, analysts expect a price battle between ARM and Intel that may result in a favorable market for consumers.

"After more than 30 years of domination by a single micro-architecture -- Intel Corp.'s X86 -- the PC microprocessor... market finally is set for some real competition," said Matt Wilkins, an analyst for IHS-iSuppli. Wilkins contends that a growing rivalry between Intel and ARM will drive down the cost of laptops around the time Microsoft releases Windows 8.

ARM Processor Usage to Skyrocket

Wilkins also predicts that ARM processors will increase substantially in the next few years, to the point where their chips might be found in as many as one in every four laptops sold in 2015.

"ARM-based systems will account for 22.9 percent of global notebook PC unit shipments in 2015, up from 3 percent in 2012," Wilkins reported.

"Shipments will reach 74 million ARM notebooks in 2015, compared to 7.6 million in 2012." (Source:

Wilkins believes we'll see more and more laptops selling for less than $700 in the future with Windows 8 pre-installed. In fact, we'll likely see more systems available for less than $500. (Source:

Intel to Introduce 1-Chip System Design

The ARM processor is undoubtedly disconcerting news for Intel, which has enjoyed a market stranglehold for the last 30+ years with its x86 chipset.

It seems the company's strategy in facing a strange new world may involve introducing a whole new laptop design similar to Apple's MacBook Air. Called the "Ultrabook," Intel appears ready to introduce a portable but inexpensive system-on-a-chip hardware platform. (Source:

It's expected that Intel's Ultrabooks will hit retail shelves by 2013.

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