Smartphone chipmaker ARM reports 28% jump in first quarter revenues as PC market falters

Processor design firm ARM, whose chip designs are used in smartphones and tablets from a number of leading manufacturers including Apple, Samsung and Nokia, has reported a remarkable 28% jump in first quarter revenues to 170.3 million pounds.

Reuters reports the result equates to a strong 44% increase in first-quarter adjusted pre-tax profit to 89.4 million pounds, beating analysts’ average forecast of 77.6 million pounds.

ARM’s chip design technology forms the basis of smartphone and tablet chips from Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, NVidia and Samsung, as well as in a range of embedded non-PC devices including dishwashers, exercise equipment and microwave ovens.

The news comes less than a week after PC chipmaker Intel announced its current-quarter revenue will drop by up to 8% year-on-year to around $12.9 billion after a first-quarter year-on-year revenue drop from $12.58 billion from $12.91 billion.

However, it is important to note that ARM’s figures and Intel’s are not directly comparable, as ARM draws its revenues from royalties from chip makers, and as a result reports its revenue a quarter in arrears.

Nonetheless, the results also point to the increasingly divergent fortunes of the PC and smart device markets, with IDC recently releasing figures showing worldwide PC sales had dropped by a massive 13.9% during the first quarter of 2013, with Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform blamed, in part, for the fall.

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