Qualcomm slams iPhone 5S processor as 'gimmick' with 'zero benefit'

Qualcomm slams iPhone 5S processor as 'gimmick' with 'zero benefit
What's the point?

During the iPhone 5S launch last month Apple made a big deal about the new A7 processor that was housed inside the handset, and how it was the first mobile phone to sport the 64-bit architecture - but is it needed?

The folks over at Qualcomm certainly aren't impressed with Apple's claims, as senior VP and CMO Anand Chandrasekher explained: "I think they are doing a marketing gimmick. There's zero benefit a consumer gets from that.

"Predominantly... you need it for memory addressability beyond 4GB. That's it. 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."

The iPhone 5S only has 1GB of RAM, so by Chandrasekher's reckoning the 64-bit architecture is pretty pointless in this and the rest of today's smartphones.

Benchmark beast

Going by various benchmark results the A7 chip is certainly a powerful beast, seemingly wiping the floor with the competition - it smashed the likes of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 when we ran Peacekeeper and SunSpider on it.

Benchmark tests only tell half the story though, and in day to day usage you won't find the iPhone 5S is noticeably quicker than the top phones from HTC, Samsung or LG.

Chandrasekher confirmed Qualcomm would be launching a 64-bit mobile chip in the future, claiming it makes sense "from an engineering efficiency standpoint", but there's no release date yet.

So the benefits of a 64-bit chip inside a mobile are still unclear, but you can be sure other manufacturers will look to match Apple in this latest arms race. We'd expect the next generation of smartphones to rock the architecture early next year.

Via TechWorld

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.