Qualcomm headquarters 001

Qualcomm’s marketing chief has been reassigned after dismissing Apple’s new 64-bit A7 processor as a ‘marketing gimmick.’ The chipmaker’s former Chief Marketing Officer has also been removed from Qualcomm’s leadership page. Instead, Anand Chandrasekher was put in charge of a broadly-worded “exploration of certain enterprise related initiatives.

Earlier this month, Chandrasekher called the 64-bit A7 processor “a marketing gimmick” with zero consumer benefit. The A7 now powers Apple’s new iPhone 5s and iPad Air. The comment forced Qualcomm to publicly rebuke its marketing head for essentially denying reality…

“Anand Chandrasekher, is moving to a new role leading our exploration of certain enterprise related initiatives,” Qualcomm told CNET Friday.


Although he will continue to report to Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm’s Chief Operating Officer and President, the company removed Chandrasekher’s name from its website listing corporate leaders.

The reassignment follows his ill-worded comment in early October about the A7:

I know there’s a lot of noise because Apple [64-bit] on their A7. I think they are doing a marketing gimmick. There’s zero benefit a consumer gets from that.

The comment took Qualcomm leadership by surprise, given both Apple and Samsung are fully committed to the 64-bit ARM architecture.

iPad Air A7

The “gimmick” comment made it appear Qualcomm’s left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing – or at least had not read the same memo.

Qualcomm later responded:

The comments made by Anand Chandrasekher, Qualcomm CMO, about 64-bit computing were inaccurate. The mobile hardware and software ecosystem is already moving in the direction of 64-bit.

And, the evolution to 64-bit brings desktop class capabilities and user experiences to mobile, as well as enabling mobile processors and software to run new classes of computing devices.

In other words, our bad, Apple.

iPad Air Facetime

In the meantime, Apple continues to highlight the benefits of having a true 64-bit, desktop-class chip in mobile devices.

Here’s an excerpt from the iPad Air web page:

The A7 chip takes iPad to new heights of power and speed. Thanks to the A7 chip, apps run faster. Games are more responsive. And everything you do with iPad Air feels quicker, because it is quicker. Up to twice as quick, in fact. But that’s just the beginning.

It also supports OpenGL ES version 3.0, enabling detailed graphics and visual effects once possible only on desktop computers and game consoles. And the A7 chip features 64-bit architecture, opening the door for even more robust and powerful apps. Which means even more possibilities for what you can do with iPad Air.

Putting its money where its mouth is, Apple has refreshed the iLife and iWork suite of apps for both iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks with full 64-bit support.

The Qualcomm executive’s comment was made worse by the fact that his company has been a trusted Apple supplier for years. After all, the iPhone 5c retained the Qualcomm processor used in last year’s iPhone 5.

Not only that, but along with Apple and Samsung, Qualcomm also uses chips based on UK-based ARM’s CPU blueprints . In effect, Chandrasekher’s comments threw doubt on Qualcomm’s own products, prompting the chip maker to get their former marketing head out of the spotlight.