Qualcomm says Apple’s 64-bit A7 Processor isn’t a Marketing Gimmick After all

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Qualcomm's Chief Marketing Officer, Anand Chandrasekher, doesn't seem to be overly impressed with the 64-bit A7 processor in Apple's new iPhone 5s and went so far as to call it a marketing gimmick. Now the company is backtracking and calling those comments inaccurate.

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In an interview last week he said,

I know there's a lot of noise because Apple did [64-bit] on their A7. I think they are doing a marketing gimmick. There's zero benefit a consumer gets from that.

His reasoning was that the real benefit of the 64-bit processor is addressing memory beyond 4GB, and not for overall performance. "You don't really need it for performance, and the kinds of applications that 64-bit get used in mostly are large, server-class applications," he said.

Now the company is saying those statements are wrong. In an email to Macworld, a Qualcomm spokesperson said,

The comments made by Anand Chandrasekher, Qualcomm CMO, about 64-bit computing were inaccurate. The mobile hardware and software ecosystem is already moving in the direction of 64-bit; and, the evolution to 64-bit brings desktop class capabilities and user experiences to mobile, as well as enabling mobile processors and software to run new classes of computing devices.

In other words, Apple is leading the pack with its iPhone 5s because it's the first smartphone to include a 64-bit processor. Most likely, Apple is about a year ahead of its competition.

Apple has a track record for setting the path in the smartphone market. When the company introduced the first iPhone model, the hardware and interface designs competitors used changed quickly to match.

The company is routinely looking forward to the long term with its products, and adding new features that may not seem to hold much benefit today -- like a 64-bit processor in a smartphone -- are good indicators that the company is setting the foundation for what's to come.

For Qualcomm's part, it's a pretty safe bet the company wants to stay on Apple's chip vendor list. Moving away from bagging on Apple's products is probably a really good first step.

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The closed door meeting after Anand Chandrasekher called Apple's A7 processor a marketing gimmick probably went something like this: "Dude. You can't say stuff like that. Do you know what it'll take to fix this?" We're paraphrasing, of course.


Lee Dronick

As a San Diego resident I hope QualComm’s continued success. They are headquartered here and have a very large presence, very important to our local economy.


Just goes to show you can be top executive at a tech company and _still_ be clueless.


I will bet that the closed-door discussion was not nearly so polite.

Perhaps someone can check the walls for chair-marks ?


If 64-bit computing is nothing more than a marketing gimmick, then Qualcomm will look like a mindless wannabe when they inevitably make the jump.

It probably freaked out a lot of developers and hardware partners to have 64-bit dismissed like that. They probably took it as company signalling that they had no internal plan for a future 64-bit processor.

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