Whether you buy into it or not, Apple‘s fancy 64-bit mobile processor, which debuted in the iPhone 5s, has gotten people talking. Apparently over at Qualcomm, that talk is mixed with a bit of panic as the chip maker races to secure its footing in what may be a changing mobile processor landscape.
Apple’s unveiling of its own 64-bit processor has caused not a small amount of debate over the Internet. It was almost natural that its rivals in the smartphone market would downplay its significance. After all, while a 64-bit CPU by itself does have technical advantages, the rest of the hardware on mobile devices have still to catch up in order to take full advantage of it. That said, despite initial indifference, or even outright denial, other players in the field, such as Samsung, have been reported to be making their way towards the 64-bit architecture.
According to an insider source, Qualcomm, one of the most popular system-on-chip manufacturers in the mobile space, has been hit quite hard by this development. The company’s knee-jerk reaction was given voice by former chief marketing officer Anand Chandrasekher, who called it a marketing gimmick. The company later publicly disputed Chandrasekher’s inaccurate statements and then changed Chandrasekher’s job description. Now company executives are said to be quite worried about catching up.
The problem was that Apple’s announcement caught Qualcomm off guard and at a bad time. It is quite reasonable to expect that chip manufacturers like Qualcomm, Samsung, and MediaTek would have an eye on 64-bit mobile processors for a long time now, but none of them probably expected that Apple would be the first to the scene. They are forced to fast-track their plans now that the cat is out of the bag. And this couldn’t have come at a worse time for Qualcomm, who is undergoing cost-cutting and internal changes. There is no doubt that Qualcomm will be able to make that 64-bit transition eventually. The question is how much effort and resources it will now have to use to get there as soon as possible.