“Apple injected a lot of marketing hyperbole into its claims about the wonders of 64-bit computing when it showed off the A7 processor at the heart of the new iPhone 5S,” Stephen Shankland reports for CNET. “But there are real long-term reasons that Apple is smart to move beyond the 32-bit era in mobile computing.”

“The iPhone maker did indeed beat its smartphone rivals to the 64-bit era with the A7, and the processor may indeed vault over its predecessor’s performance,” Shankland reports. “[However], there’s a reason the computer industry is shifting to 64-bit computing; the main benefit is memory capacity that can exceed 4GB. But just as we saw with 64-bit personal computers arriving over the last decade, 64-bit designs don’t automatically improve performance for most tasks. In fact, there can be drawbacks: it’s likely that 64-bit versions of programs will be bulkier than their 32-bit equivalents.”

Shankland reports, “But Apple is smart to lay the foundations for 64-bit mobile computing now, for three reasons. First, large memory capacity is an academic issue in the mobile market today, but it won’t always be. Second, the 64-bit transition happens to come along with other chip changes that are useful immediately. And third, it gives Apple more flexibility to build ARM-based PCs if it chooses to embrace an alternative to Intel chips.”

Read more in the full article here.

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