Why ARM Believes We'll See a $20 Smartphone

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- ARM Holdings (ARMH) believes the company's future will be brighter because it's embracing both ends of the computing business - high-end devices such as smartphones and tablets with quad-core, 64-bit processors, as well as increasingly inexpensive mobile devices running on new single-core chips.

At its Tech Day event in Austin, Texas ARM revealed its plans for its next-generation, mid-range Cortex A53 coming to smartphones in the next few months and its A57 CPU expected to land in early 2015. ARM expects the A53 to measure 50% faster than the current A7 chip while using the same amount of battery power. The A57 will be 50% faster than the current A15.

However, ARM has even bigger plans for its lower-end processors. The Cortex A5 "system on a chip" is set to power a new breed of super-low-priced Google (GOOG) Android-powered phones that have begun to have a huge impact on the industry. ARM believes the industry is changing from top-of-the-line centric devices to mid and entry-level products to attract exploding global sales.

ARM shares were trading 0.54% lower at $44.60 in mid-morning New York trading.

While higher-end smartphones sales are forecast to remain relatively stable as a percentage of industry sales emerging markets in Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America will fuel a push to replace millions of feature phones currently in use with similarly-priced, affordable smartphone models.

The big changeover has already begun. Analysts at ABI Research report that the basic mobile phone lost 5% of the total global market share "suggesting Android is set to gain almost all of the billions of mobile subscribers still upgrading to smartphones."

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