A couple of months ago Apple announced the iPhone 5s and while the phone might look the same on the outside, for the most part, it was under the hood that we saw some pretty major changes. For the most part Apple’s “S” series of iPhones were typically incremental hardware upgrades with nothing to shout about, but with the iPhone 5s, Apple introduced the A7 chipset which made them the first company to introduce a 64-bit chipset into a smartphone. It seems that Apple’s announcement was actually a pretty closely-guarded secret, unlike the phone itself, as apparently some in the industry were completely caught unaware by it.
This is according to an anonymous source at Qualcomm who told Dan Lyons that the A7 chip “hit us in the gut”. According to the source, “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 source went on to state that no one saw 64-bit as “essential” at that time, but just like how more megapixels on cameras does not necessarily equate to better photographs, it is a numbers game and that’s what consumers want.
Qualcomm has recently announced their own 64-bit chipset in the form of the Snapdragon 410, but unlike Apple’s A7 chipset and Samsung’s upcoming 64-bit chipset which looks like it could be destined for high-end handsets, Qualcomm’s take is targeting the low-end segment.
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