Qualcomm employee: Apple’s 64-bit A7 chip ‘set off panic in the industry’

By , Dec 17, 2013

iPad Air promo (A7 closeup 001)

In October, Qualcomm’s chief marketing officer Anand Chandrasekher made headlines when he commented in an interview that Apple’s new 64-bit A7 chip was just a ‘marketing gimmick’ that added ‘zero benefit’ for the customer.

Qualcomm was quick to backtrack on the executive’s remarks, and according to a new report, that’s not what it was thinking at all. Speaking with a source inside the company, Dan Lyons says Apple’s 64-bit chip rocked the industry…

Here’s Lyons reporting over at HubSpot (via MacRumors):

“The 64-bit Apple chip hit us in the gut,” says the Qualcomm employee. “Not just us, but everyone, really. We were slack-jawed, and stunned, and unprepared. It’s not that big a performance difference right now, since most current software won’t benefit. But in Spinal Tap terms it’s like, 32 more, and now everyone wants it.” [...]

“The roadmap for 64-bit was nowhere close to Apple’s, since no one thought it was that essential,” the Qualcomm insider says. “The evolution was going to be steady. Sure, it’s neat, it’s the future, but it’s not really essential for conditions now.”

But once Apple introduced a 64-bit processor, all the other phone-makers wanted one too. “Apple kicked everybody in the balls with this. It’s being downplayed, but it set off panic in the industry.”

In addition to the iPhone 5s, Apple also utilizes its A7 processor in its new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display. And although several apps and games have been updated to support it, few of them are taking full advantage of it yet.

As for Qualcomm, it announced its first 64-bit processor last week: the Snapdragon 410. It’s scheduled to hit smartphones in the second half of 2014.

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  • Yash Gorana

    You can make fun of them publicly, but they are gonna kick you in the balls for sure.

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    A panic that pushes competitors to make even better products, is a panic most welcome.

    • Jurassic

      “scheduled to hit smartphones in the second half of 2014″

      In other words, by the time other smartphones get their first generation 64-bit processors, Apple will be introducing products with second generation 64-bit processors (A8).

      The other thing to think about is that currently Apple’s 64-bit A7 runs a 64-bit operating system (iOS 7), and 64-bit apps (all of the apps that come with the devices are 64-bit, and third party developers are starting to produce 64-bit versions of their apps).

      Currently, there are no development schedules for either a 64-bit Android OS or 64-bit Windows Phone OS.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Second gen 64-Bit? All they’ll probably be adding is speed dude. They’re not invent some new processing architecture each year.

        “Currently, there are no development schedules for either a 64-bit Android OS or 64-bit Windows Phone OS.”

        And you know this ’cause Microsoft and Google shared their mobile phone plans with you? Quit your BSing.

      • Jurassic

        “All they’ll probably be adding is speed dude”

        Well, I’m glad we have one person here who has the inside scoop on Apple’s secretive development plans for the A8. ;-))

        “And you know this ’cause Microsoft and Google shared their mobile phone plans with you?”

        I know this because no development schedules have been announced. Microsoft and Google always pre-announce their next operating systems, even before the first betas appear.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        It’s simple deductive reasoning (if you can do that):
        - for the past 5+ years, all they’ve been adding in each processor upgrade is speed
        - also, no new processing architecture has hit the desktop space (and Apple doesn’t invent anything)
        - finally, stuff start big and shrink in the tech industry
        So, there’s next to 0 probability they’ll add anything beyond speed in the a8.

        Regarding development schedules, no announcement doesn’t mean nothing’s going on in the background. What you mean to say is no 3rd-party devs are building 64-Bit apps for those platforms…big deal.

      • Ying Zheng

        Just curious, correct me if I’m wrong, but at the end of the day, isn’t all “processor” upgrade aimed at improving the performance? and i’m sure most users won’t notice anything else other than difference in the “speed” their application loads, the “speed” their apps forms at, any delays the phone as (correlates to speed)…? So you’re right it’s “speed” that they’ve upgrade, but there’s a lot more than just that.
        As most “A#” chips, they’re SoCs, which means it’s not just the CPU, it’s the whole package, which includes CPU and GPU etc… and the amount of work that goes into creating a SoC that works together (and working well) I would imagine is quite alot of work, it’s not simply “add extra Ghz to this chip and push it out”…
        Besides, (again forgive my ignorance) how often would companies add new features onto a chip…???

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        About time your post became active; the direct link you posted delayed it. Either ways, you are absolutely correct, it’s just Jurrassic here that was making it sound like Apple is always ahead…so, I took a noob route to explain the same thing to a noob.

      • leart

        Haha he know everything, mostly that competitors will make better products in the unknown future.
        If this is not hating on apple..

      • Raashid

        Knowing products keep getting better with more competition is common sense, but never expected a mindless zombie to know that.…

      • leart

        you are a smart fresh immigrant right?

      • Raashid

        You’re a pathological loser right?

      • leart

        you should open your own blog and discuss with people of your level

      • Raashid

        People of my level are here. There are just people of IQ below 50, like you, that couldn’t find an iTardsOnlyBlog, hence they come to iDB…

      • Palmer Paul

        **face palm** What do you think comes before the betas though (rhetorical question)? Thats right, the alphas! And alphas are developed entirely internally. And what comes after the alphas? The private betas! That too is developed internally. Finally we are at the stage when the public betas are released. So guess what? The development process begins long before the first public betas are released, and also long before the pre-announcement. In fact, Google probably started the development process of 4.5 (or whatever they will number it when it is released) the day after KitKat was released (I’d even put money on it).

  • Saria Hajjar

    “Apple kicked everybody in the balls” hilarious!

  • Ted Forbes

    Humm!

  • @dongiuj

    So basically he’s still saying it’s a marketing gimmick as it’s not really essential for conditions right now. The question is, when will it become essential and not, pretty much, a marketing gimmick?

  • Yujin

    It is a marketing gimmick BUT for non apple devices. Apple is taking full advantage of it with its apps and hardware since they control everything

  • Sokrates

    Meanwhile Samsung’s tactical next step

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Samsung literally only a few days after Apples keynote committed to creating a phone with a 64 bit chip and also demonstrated how they had in fact made gold phones previously. If that isn’t copying and an act of desperation then I don’t know what is.

      • Guest

        Yeah, Samsung is a fast copier, Apple is a slow copier…so, what…copying is copying.

      • Umut Bilgiç

        Apple still does it better

      • NSA

        Samsung is really the best company in the world to copy other competitors….They don’t try to come up with something new..
        Just copy then their fans say “Innovation”..

      • NSA

        If you think Apple has copied Samsung when they introduced an iPhone in a gold color. It is just a color…

        Well Samsung has stolen the iPhone, iPad technology and copied the design of the MacBook Air…..

      • NSA

        The next step for Samsung, is to copy the new Mac Pro & iMac

  • Mr Jolly

    As everyone knows, 64bit is mostly a BAD thing, as unless you can really take advantage of the extra memory addressing and extra registers, all you “gain” is excessive memory bloat for existing apps.

    Your 2GB phone suddenly needs 3GB to perform the same. How is that a good thing?

    • Umut Bilgiç

      What about faster memory mapping? The A7 also introduced 2x GPRs and 2x FPRs. Those are being used by music and graphic creating applications. But as you said, it does not really couse speed upgrades if you dont even need more then a gigabyte of RAM.

    • NSA

      You need to do some research about that.

  • Decio Arruda

    It’s going to be like Windows vs OSX over again.. Only iOS will take full advantage of 64 bit processing and Android will take years to catch up while Apple works in making iOS even faster.

    • NSA

      Then Microsoft will make an ad, to say only Windows phone can do that. No other phone can do it