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Qualcomm Employee: Apple’s 64-Bit A7 “Hit us in the gut”

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When Apple introduced its 64-bit A7 chip for the iPhone 5s it claimed that this made the iPhone 5s the most “forward-looking” smartphone on the market. We still don’t know how far forward we might be looking with the A7, but according to reports a Qualcomm employee the news of the 64-bit chip “hit us in the gut.” The report is from former Fake Steve Jobs himself, Dan Lyons, who is now a Marketing Fellow at Hubspot.

Spinal-Tap-band-01Lyon’s unnamed source goes on to say, “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.”

This comes after many of Apple’s rivals have publicly said that the new chip is not that big of a deal, and a “marketing gimmick.” Even though those same companies are now preparing to release 64-bit chips in their 2014 products. The question will be what the 2014 timing will be. Don’t be surprised to hear announcements of new mobile devices with a 64-bit chip at CES 2014, that we may not see until next year’s holiday season.

Lyons’ article points out that if companies were caught this flatfooted and unaware it won’t be that easy to catch up quickly. But it is typical in an industry where specs are king that everyone follow the leader as quickly as possible. Apple may have turned the dial up to 11 and forced its competitors to shift plans at an uncomfortable pace.

But keep in mind. The real benefits of the 64-bit A7, which is now also included in the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina Display, still haven’t revealed themselves yet. We’ve yet to see App developers take advantage of the A7 and the new instruction set in ways that make a noticeable difference. So, while Qualcomm and others might be working hard to play catch up at the moment, they are catching up to a potential that may not be revealing itself until about the time that they start making announcements of their own similarly equipped products next year. Let’s hope in the rush they don’t Break Like the Wind.

Warner Crocker is a professional theatre director, producer and playwright and also a Tablet PC enthusiast. He is also a Microsoft MVP for Tablet PCs. Send email to Warner. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+

3 Comments

  1. Heath

    12/17/2013 at 8:27 am

    The A7 didn’t hit them in the gut. People’s ignorance did. Companies have to cater marketing to the unknowledgeable to make things sound good. Apple’s fanboys have a tendency to fall into this trap. This is why almost all iPhones and iPads look the same. Just say its better and people will fork over $$. No need to invest $$ into R&D for a device that will sell with the right marketing.

  2. Hildy J

    12/17/2013 at 8:29 am

    To quote Dilbert (from a cartoon I’ve had on my wall for years) “Studies have shown that accurate numbers aren’t any more useful than the ones you make up.” In certain circumstances, 64bits would help. In certain circumstances, 4 cores would help. So is the following true: 2 cores * 64 bits = 128 = 32 bits * 4 cores? In certain circumstances, probably, in others, probably not and the advantage could teeter or totter either way.

  3. Larry

    12/17/2013 at 8:36 am

    I saw no difference in iPhone 5s but a peace of shit worst glitch ever I had all iPhone models I thought the 5 had issues, glad I android now!! Sony Xperia Z1 apple can’t even come close to this!!

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