Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What ARM Means for Android's Future

Like the smartmouthed hero Dade Murphy said in the movie Hackers, RISC is good.  Good for ARM’s business, that is.  ARM is the chip seller that developed the RISC architecture back in the early 80’s, and luckily for their longterm shareholders these little chips now have homes in about 98% of all mobile phones.

I’m talking about iPhones, Blackberries, Android phones, Game Boys, the fun battery powered things that we all carry around today.

Because small devices love the reduced power and increased processing power gained from RISC, ARM loves these small devices.  Since everything is going small and mobile these days….

Enter the ARM Solution Center for Android.  “The ARM Solution Center for Android (SCA) offers developers new to Android or to ARM, the widest range of Android resources for ARM architecture.  SCA members come together to share their expertise, solutions and services, including:  Development tools, complete Android solutions, Android software components, Android services and Android training.”  (text quoted directly from the SCA site).

That’s nice and dandy for developers, but what does this mean for us consumers?  Since Android is being used for more than just smartphones, it means we’ll see a lot of great apps on a lot of great devices.

Lets follow the math and peer into the future.  Take the amazing progress that Android has seen in its first year, its roots with the juggernaut Google, its enthusiastic following from techies everywhere who aren’t still too drunk with lust for the aging iPhone, and the fact that ARM is now throwing their weight into the ring.

Look into the past a little bit and think about what grew like weeds in the early days when everybody under the sun started making x86 based personal computers and servers?  Microsoft.  And we all know how big they are today.  All those devices needed something to run them.

This SCA is the chicken and egg situation, build it and they will come.  When they come, they use your chips.

Google’s egg was Android.  All they need to do is keep fertilizing it with free apps like Places and Gmail, and the chickens are sprouting like weeds.

The farmers are HTC, Motorola, Samsung, anybody who is now pumping out chickens … errr, device after device with the Android OS running it.

I’m betting that Android will come out on top.

Now if only I could figure out that one stock that stands to benefit the most from this …. does anybody know of a good Android Mutual Fund?

Oh, well the answer is ARM Holdings plc of course, their stock has doubled in price since Jan 2009.

ARM shareholders: "Recession? What recession?"

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