When Apple introduced the iPhone 5s, powered by a 64-bit chip, the tech world was caught on the wrong foot, at least according to a Qualcomm employee speaking to Dan Lyons, a former Fake Steve Jobs columnist. Back then, Qualcomm CMO Anand Chandrasekher called the 64-bit chip a “marketing gimmick,” but his comments were labelled as “inaccurate” by the company, and he was quickly reassigned.
“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.”
It’s a fact that only a few apps can take advantage of the speed of the 64-bit A7 processor, but those which can report significant speed improvements with it.
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.”
And, as it turns out, Apple’s decision to go with the first desktop-class 64-bit processor triggered a new wave of smartphones, which will all get 64-bit processors: Qualcomm and Samsung already announced that their future handset processors will, indeed, be 64-bit.