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ARM reports strong Q4 profit thanks to high gadget demand and no competition

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ARM reports strong Q4 2011 profits thanks to consumer gadget demand.

ARM Cortex-A15
ARM Cortex-A15

ARM posted strong fourth-quarter net profit results today, backed by consumer demand for smartphones and tablets. The British-based company reported net profit results of £33.1 million ($52 million) in its latest quarter to December 31, up 11 percent from £29.7 million in the same period last year. Revenue also rose 21 percent to £137.8 million from £113.9 million, beating analyst expectations of £123.6 million.

ARM expects its full-year group dollar revenues, dependant on consumer and enterprise spending, will be in line with market expectations of just over $860 million this year. The strong and steady growth underpins the large number of devices that use ARM chips and lack of a suitable competitor from Intel. Apple's iPhone and iPad devices, which sold 37.04 million and 15.43 million units respectively in the latest quarter, both use ARM chips as well as the majority of other smartphones available today.

Although ARM's prediction for its 2012 revenue is mild, CEO Warren East had strong words for Intel at CES where he claimed the rival chipset maker will never be the leaders in power efficiency. East was reacting to Intel's new Medfield chip, now called the Atom Z2460, that will ship on Lenovo and Motorola phones and tablets later this year. ARM is waking waves elsewhere though, Google's second-generation TV devices will be powered by ARM chipsets, and the company dominates the existing smartphone market. The pair will go head-to-head when Windows 8 arrives later this year too. Microsoft's new support for Windows ARM will be a testing time for ARM's chipsets in a Windows world dominated by Intel, and could impact future growth if the operating system proves popular with Wintel system builders.