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The Icon Bar: News and features: Monopolies good?

Monopolies good?

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 12:27, 9/7/2004 | , , ,
ARM is evil! EVIL!!!C|NET have a rather amusing article about a company that has an 80% monopoly in just one of its chosen fields, and yet "doesn't give people the willies the same way behemoths like Microsoft or Intel do". The company in question is, of course, ARM - the chipmaker started by Acorn.

Apparently, after a deal with Sony Ericsson, ARM have an 80% share of the mobile phone market, and 40% of the digital camera market, and are still looking to expand. 788 million ARM chips were shipped last year, and yet "[y]ou'd be hard pressed to find anyone spouting "ARM is evil! EVIL!!!" in a chat room". The reasons given for ARM's "benign reputation" are apparently due to "the company is British, which tends to give their actions a genteel gloss" and "England is a perennial underdog in the IT world"

If you want to read more about Japanese ARM-powered toilets and the like, give the link below a swift clicking.

Source: C|NET article

  Monopolies good?
  guestx (12:46 9/7/2004)
  monkeyson2 (13:42 9/7/2004)
    adrianl (17:57 9/7/2004)
      apdl (06:45 10/7/2004)
        arenaman (23:09 10/7/2004)
          flypig (02:05 11/7/2004)
            Loris (11:56 12/7/2004)
GuestX Message #93080, posted by guestx at 12:46, 9/7/2004
Posts: 102
"First, of course, the company is British, which tends to give their actions a genteel gloss. Accents--we love 'em."

As long as they don't suddenly remember Star Wars: "As you wish, Lord Vader!"

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Phil Mellor Message #93081, posted by monkeyson2 at 13:42, 9/7/2004, in reply to message #93080
monkeyson2Please don't let them make me be a monkey butler

Posts: 12380
I haven't RTFA, but I suspect one difference is that ARM have achieved their monopoly through having a good product, rather than through dodgy business practices.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Adrian Lees Message #93082, posted by adrianl at 17:57, 9/7/2004, in reply to message #93081
Posts: 1637
ARM products are largely invisible. How many of the general public know that they're using ARM chips?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
David Holden Message #93083, posted by apdl at 06:45, 10/7/2004, in reply to message #93082
Posts: 138
Probably the most important reason is that ARM don't actually make things - they basically just design things for other people to manufacture. You can't really have a monopoly on designing because it's something that anyone else with similar knowledge and experience (!) can do.

Also, because they do just design things by the nature of their business they have to make full and complete information about their products available to the people that want to licence them. There is therefore no reason for them to be secretive or partial about their products, such secrecy would be counter-productive.

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Michael Stubbs Message #93084, posted by arenaman at 23:09, 10/7/2004, in reply to message #93083
Posts: 114
ARM Ltd does not try to crush the competion using contractual and legal methods, or by straight forward bullying. It just has superior products for the market it aims at. As someone else said, it sells designs, it doesn't make the product, which means it cannot bully the end user.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
David Llewellyn-Jones Message #93085, posted by flypig at 02:05, 11/7/2004, in reply to message #93084
Posts: 17
It may well be that ARM Ltd's success is due to the quality of its product (and licensing scheme), but I'm sure it's also perfectly willing to use legal means to "crush the competition" if it feels threatened:


After all, ARM's business is IP, which is worth very little if other people can steal all of your ideas.

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Tony Haines Message #93086, posted by Loris at 11:56, 12/7/2004, in reply to message #93085
madbanHa ha, me mine, mwahahahaha
Posts: 1025
In a way, ARM is helping to make strong-arming unfashionable.


  ^[ Log in to reply ]

The Icon Bar: News and features: Monopolies good?