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HP attacks Apple iPad over Flash, ARM expects 50 new tablets in 2010


As HP attempts to push its own Flash-playing slate PC over the Apple iPad, one ARM executive said he expects more than 50 tablet-style devices to be introduced this year alone.

HP pushes Flash for its slate PC

HP this week began touting the ability of its forthcoming "slate" device to run content made in Adobe Flash — something the iPad will not do. Though HP did not mention the iPad specifically by name, its choice of words and the specific promotion of Flash make it clear that the company is looking to take away some buzz from Apple's forthcoming device, due to launch April 3.

HP boasted that its slate PC, running Windows 7, can access the "complete Internet — including Flash." Another note said "Access the full web and not just a part of it!"

"With this slate product, you're getting a full Web browsing experience in the palm of your hand," the company said. "No watered-down Internet, no sacrifices."

HP included a new 30-second video highlighting the ability of its slate to run both Flash and Air content from Adobe. The video shows a multi-touch interface and has a similar feel to Apple's own iPad advertisement, which debuted Sunday during the Oscars.

In addition, the company released a video on YouTube with a live demonstration of the slate's Flash capabilities. Alan Tam, senior product marketing manager at Adobe, showed off Flash-based Web content on the device, including video from and an interactive Spongebob Squarepants game.

HP's embrace of Flash is a stark contrast from Apple, which has not allowed the Web standard onto its iPhone or iPad mobile devices. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is even alleged to have made disparaging remarks about Flash and Adobe on numerous occasions.

ARM expects 50 new tablets in 2010

Beyond Apple and HP, the tablet market is expected to get much more crowded by the end of 2010. Roy Chen, ARM's worldwide mobile computing ODM manager, said he expects more than 50 devices to debut in 2010.

According to Computerworld, most of the hardware will be introduced in China, but new tablet-style devices will be released in all markets.

"Like many chip makers, ARM often gains an inside view of products its chips are being used in, sometimes when asked for additional engineering support and other times due to partnership programs," author Dan Nystedt noted.

Chen's comments came during a press meeting in Taipei, where ARM showed off two tablets running the Google Android mobile operating system — one from Compal Electronics with a 7-inch screen and Nvidia Tegra 2 chips, and a smaller device called the Armadillo. Both rely on ARM cores in their chips, like Apple's iPad.

The iPad sports a custom processor known as the Apple A4. One report alleged that the CPU is a stripped-down ARM Cortex-A8 system-on-a-chip running at 1GHz. It has been predicted that Apple spent $1 billion to design its own silicon. The Cupertino, Calif., Company purchased fabless chip designer P.A. Semi in 2008 for $278 million.