ARM partners like Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and Nvidia may soon find themselves competing with their own partners, as LG becomes the third major mobile phone manufacturer after Apple and Samsung to take the first steps to build its own system on chip family.
HTC & Sony Ericsson use mostly Qualcomm chipsets with SE likely to partner more closely with ST-Ericsson in the next 12 months to deliver products at the higher end of the market.
Nokia, Motorola & RIM depend on a number of players including Texas Instruments, Nvidia and Broadcom amongst others.
It is interesting to note that the license covers multi core versions of the Cortex A15 and A9 which means that LG Electronics is indeed aiming at the very top of the market where it currently depends on the TI OMAP4 and the Nvidia Tegra 2.
LG might have felt compelled to follow Samsung Electronics and Apple for the same reason the two chose to design their own system on chip, being able to differentiate themselves from the rest of the industry.
Lately, all Android-based tablets, for example, have started to look the same, sharing quasi identical hardware and software specifications which made users focus on pricing instead of anything else.
That said, it is unlikely though that the four other handset manufacturers - HTC, RIM, Nokia and Motorola - will follow and take out ARM licenses for a number of reasons; expertise, partners, time to market etc.