A Qualcomm employee might, or might not have said the following, as reported by HubSpot: “The 64-bit Apple chip hit us in the gut. 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”.
There’s an entire story at Qualcomm referring to the Apple A7 chip. An executive initially called the chipset a marketing gimmick with zero benefits; the executive was later reassigned, and the company itself announced its first 64-bit SoC with the Snapdragon 410.
The unnamed Qualcomm insider cited above with the alleged words in quotes — which we can’t verify, so treat it accordingly — seems to reflect the general attitude towards Apple’s 64-bit A7 chip, mainly, that it doesn’t bring a huge increase in performance, but it’s innovative. The ability to access more RAM is not the only advantage of a 64-bit architecture, as iMore points out, but they can also “grab data in twice as large chunks as their 32-bit counterparts”.
Whatever the case, Qualcomm’s first 64-bit chip, the Snapdragon 410, will start sampling in the first half of 2014, with devices expected on the market in the second half on the next year, an entire year after Apple’s introduction of the A7. Samsung is also working on a 64-bit chip to power its phones, but exact plans have not yet been made public.
Gimmick or not, with or without advantages, Apple has a solid head-start in the 64-bit mobile game.