MWC Interview: ARM discusses plans for expanding the mobile experience

February 26, 2014
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At MWC 2014 Android Authority’s Darcy LaCouvée had the opportunity to talk with John Heinlein, ARM’s VP of corporate marketing. In the interview, the executive spoke on ARM’s plans to continue expanding the mobile experience, particularly focusing on three key areas (which we’ll mention below).

Although there are currently roughly 6 billion mobile subscribers around the globe, about 2 billion of these users are on smartphones with the rest stuck with feature or even voice-only handsets. ARM’s first key goal is to find ways to expand smartphone  capabilities into broader market, and hopes to achieve this by bringing diversity to the different price points in the low and mid-range sector.

Reaching the “next billion” and beyond

The idea of reaching the “next billion users” by expanding to emerging markets seems to be a re-occurring theme not only for ARM and its partners, but also for Google, Motorola, Intel, Nokia and many others. With the higher-end market marching steadily towards an eventual point of saturation, emerging markets and budget users are becoming major targets for smartphone expansion.

While ARM is keen to expand their presence into emerging markets for obvious reasons, the ARM VP is also personally excited about how democratization of accessed information by smartphone can improve day to day life for folks in emerging markets (and for budget-users). As smartphones continue to expand into new markets, users will have access to a vast array of information that many of us take for granted. Heinlein also notes this expansion could also be extremely important for e-commerce.

Technologies that “expand the mobile experience”

The second key area of expansion for ARM is through wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers. Heinlein also briefly mentions the potential of other types of accessories that can expand the mobile experience, which includes automobiles that integrate with mobile technology.

It’s certainly true that we are starting to see many more devices tackle the ‘accessories’ market with examples shown off at MWC 2014 including Sony’s wearable glasses concept, Huawei’s wristband, the Sony SmartBand, the Gear 2 and Gear Fit. At CES we also saw ways that this ‘extension of mobile capabilities’ will also affect the automotive industry.

ARM’s ambitions for datacenter and cloud infrastructure

The third focus might not have to do with mobiles, but it is still very important for the company, and that is ARM’s datacenter and cloud infrastructure ambitions.

ARM says that their solutions can bring improved efficiency to the server world, and that administrators are able to install storage servers based on ARM and get double the density, compared to conventional storage infrastructure.” Heinlein says that while their early attempts at breaking into the server market have revolved around 32-bit processors, ARM is slowly working to bring 64-bit solutions as well.

Wrap up

Moving on from the three key focus points, ARM’s VP talked a little about the upcoming processors from Qualcomm, MediaTek and other partners. Heinlein also talked about ARM v8 and how it is important for both ARM partners and for the future of the mobile world.

The interview concludes by briefly talking about Intel, where John Heinlein states that competition is healthy and that they are keen to continue to push the mobile experience forward, regardless of what Intel dishes out.

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