It's unwise to view Windows RT w.r.t. Windows 8.1 The goal with the ARM version of Windows is to provide the soon to become familiar interface of Windows 8.1 to the huge market for ARM based computing devices. There's no disagreement that it's a huge market so I wouldn't blame Microsoft for going after it. It's a highly competitive market with well grounded incumbents so Microsoft's chances are slim, but the payoff could be huge.
That's a tautology, the fact that I've replied yo you means I haven't ignored you -- how could I be ignorant, at least not to you.
The money to be made is mostly at the top end where Apple hangs out. The volume market is not very lucrative.
Apple has set the bar for mobile SoCs for the second time with its A7. Mobile SoC producers such as Samsung, Qualcomm, NVidia and Intel have to realise that at some point their chips have to compete with Apple's. Even though Apple doesn't sell it's chips, it's mobile gadgets compete directly with Android which all the other chip vendors use. Qualcomm has it's own advantage with its communication technology integration, but the other three need to come up with good reasons why their chips will result in gadgets that go head to head with Apple even though Apple is a vertically integrated producer and is able to fully optimize its gadget technology on its own unlike the others which follow a distributed and hence less optimal optimization model. As an example, consider how much more complex it will be for Android based mobile gadgets to go 64 bit.
Apple's huge mobile volumes also mean it's able to optimize its supply chain a lot better which is another factor the other OEMs and hence indirectly the chip vendors have to compete with.
All the examples you mention are traditional PC makers with old established relationships with Intel that are now making new forays into tablets with some Windows and some Android tablets. They are not the category defining ones like Apple and the early Android followers like Samsung. They are new entrants into a mature market dominated by a few stalwarts.
It's relevant to note that most of these OEMs are traditional PC OEMs and they have a rather skeumorphic perspective on the tablet market in assuming Windows 8.1 tablets will actually replace iPads because people are clamoring to "do more" with their tablets. Bay Trail and Haswell's success in the changing market will mirror their's
Correlation between posts that are made here and news stories coming out from the CNETs is pretty high based on my observations There's no way for them to reach me directly, they have to come here for that as many do :-)
Most of the big investment advise givers such as GS, MS and Lehmann Brothers get their raw material from this message board. Posting here ensures that these big scavengers get a balanced view of the state of the stock. The mutual fund managers also browse here, as do other institutional investors. I have heard that sometimes big Intel managers also pay attention to what is said here. Long story short this is a much used forum, therefore posting here is a worthwhile effort. Why do you post and what's with the fake ID?
The cost of making the chip is still small compared to the price it sells at. I don't think right now Apple, Qualcomm and Nvidia would be as sensitive to the cost of producing their chips as they would to the chips being competitive with Intel's best.
With Apple's v8 based A7 there is clear evidence of progress on the chip architecture front in the ARM camp, Intel is clearly behind Apple and soon we'll see what Qualcomm and ARM have come up with for the next generation. ARM v8 is a complete redesign of the ISA unlike Intel incremental approach to 64 bit. This is one of the reasons it makes it easier to optimize such a chip.
Intel doesn't really have a process advantage. It does for about 6 months for now until TSMC 20nm comes out in volume. Even with the current process advantage, it is only able to match it's incumbent ARM competition in mobile. Both Samsung and TSMC are on matching accelerated process rollout with Intel's. It's clear now Apple doesn't need Intel for mobile and maybe even not for laptop/desktop (Brooke Crothers, CNET). Once Samsung is able to match Intel on process (they've already got volume on 28nm so next year at 20nm and the following year at the 16nm half step), they will also have no need for Intel chips. If Intel can't get Apple or Samsung, it likely wont get good volumes at good ASPs for its mobile chips. Magic Paul's plan to light a fire under Apple and Samsung with his accelerated 14nm rollout seems to be fizzling out right in front of our eyes.
Today, there was an article on CNET by Brooke Crothers that suggested that in the near future, Apple may come out with a laptop based on its A-series chips since they're getting there performance wise and power conservation has become a primary criterion even with laptops as is evidenced by the design of Intel's Haswell. For your reference, based on the Geekbench 3 benchmark, the current A7 produced on 28nm process already has about half the performance of the Haswell chip produced at 22nm in the current Macbook Air. Early next year, Apple will likely introduce a version of the chip on TSMC's new 20nm process which should further bridge the gap.
The ARM investment is based on the faith of the investor that ARM will continue executing the way it has in the past to dominate the market for low power microprocessors. It is also based on the recognition of a trend that microprocessors in the future will require low power operation as opposed to today where they're mostly plugged in. If ARM can maintain its execution, it can grow its revenues and profits for several years to come and that's what the high P/E reflects.