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One Year Later : Qualcomm Snapdragon Disappoints

Exactly one year ago, I wrote on how Qualcomm's smartbooks will outgun netbooks but truth be said, I've been thoroughly disappointed by the whole saga ith very little, if any, hope in sight.

On paper, ARM-based netbooks are an exceptionally capable bunch. Derived from their smartphones cousins, they are merely bigger devices with a proper keyboard. As such, they come with a number of features that set them apart from their x86 counterparts.

They're instant on, can last days rather than hours, have built in accelerator, GPS, should make phone calls & 3G modem, all for a very affordable price. The obvious question here is - where are they?

The answer is, we don't know. it's not that they're not out there, we've even managed to get one of them for a review - remember that pink Pegatron smartbook? That was nearly one year ago!

HP, Lenovo, Asus and Acer have confirmed that they have tested ARM-based smartbooks, possibly with Android.

Yet, there seems to be what some might call a conspiracy, a concerted effort by some of the biggest vendors on the market to push Wintel-based tablet and devices rather than ARMDroid platform, mainly because of "persuasion" techniques from Microsoft and Intel (opens in new tab).

Not convinced? Well, most of the products that caught the eye of the press today, from the Eee Tablet to the MSI WindPad were powered by Windows and by Intel. Very little if any Android or ARM-based products in the public eye.

The truth, we suggest might lie elsewhere, in the disruptive effect that ARMDroid could have on the market. As we wrote last year, more ARMDroid manufacturers means more competition and lower prices. As it stands, no one wants a price war and a 10 per cent margin on a $200 Wintel Netbook is always better 5 per cent on a $150 ARMdroid device.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.