The world’s first 64-bit smartphone is just the beginning, Apple’s A7 chip paves the way for Apple’s long-term future

“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.

Related articles:
Apple reveals flagship iPhone 5s with Touch ID, the world’s first and only 64-bit smartphone – September 10, 2013
Apple unveils iPhone 5C; pre-order September 13th, on sale September 20th – September 10, 2013
Apple to release iOS 7 with completely redesigned user interface on September 18 – September 10, 2013


    1. The M7 chip opens up at least two options.

      1. The “iWatch” is not a full-blown device but something closer to the Fuelband or Fitbit with minimal interface–it grabs most of the necessary data from the iPhone.

      2. Or could the M7 be integrated into a brand new device which could stand alone without the iPhone, probably paired with an ARM cpu customized (i.e. battery-sipping) for very specific wearable computing tasks. In other words, forget the camera and wristwatch phone ideas.

  1. “lot of marketing hyperbole”

    What a BS; there is nothing hyperbolic in Apple’s statements about A7: it is literally twice faster both in integer and graphics, and it is foundation for the future.

    1. Agreed.
      Apple has stated that the A7 is capable of running both 32-bit and 64-bits apps.
      It would be interesting to know is if this twofold speed increase occurs independently if the application is a 32-bit one or if it has to be its 64-bit equivalent.
      If this improvement occurs with both types of apps then it means that the 64-bit architecture alone is not responsible for it, but there are some other architectural changes that provide this effect.

    1. I agree. Apple was waiting for a chip to be able to handle graphic intense games. With the Apple TV not dependent on a battery they can add the 4gb of ram that will take full advantage of the 64 bit architecture.

  2. The reason for the 64bits is so Apple can do it’s “magic”. Like no wait when your finger hits the “home” button, the flash firing after adjusting the “white balance” as soon as you press the camera button, and choosing one from several photos without you noticing it. Not to mention games doing incredible things. It is what OS X is designed for- it lets “magic” happen without being a “klu-gee” like mr developers developers developers and the developers who believe his BS and have to struggle with his bloated legacy operating system.

    1. And this is where Apple has no competition, it controls the software, which is natively 64bit and the hardware specs, which is the ideal scenario desirable for the ultimate performance and synchronized functionality.

      We all know what it’s like to be caught up waiting for software to catch up to hardware or vise versa…

  3. Everyone is so fixated on the “Not a cheaper iPhone” that this little bit has mostly gone under the radar, but this is HUGE!

    The iPhone 5S will be more powerful than many desktops from just a few years ago!

    This is not a small update, it’s just not an obviously sexy one.

  4. Should give Apple the ability to move to larger tablet(s) that could be an alternative to the notebook and possibly the MacBook Air. Even a chance to build a version of a Tablet/Air hybrid that could be used as a light general purpose notebook for educational or business That could have days of use since it would be mostly battery. Just a thought on the use of 64 bit.

    1. Really, if you needed to reach into your cloud stored iWork data while on the road and all you had to do is blue-tooth to a keyboard (or use the on screen keyboard in a pinch) and reach into those records and change them so your pdf or Keynote presentation was up to date, you wouldn’t do that? Why?

  5. Ok, so a iOS device like the iPad or AppleTV will not need to shift “to 64-bit computing” and it’s “memory capacity” can’t “benefit” by addressing more than 4GB of Apple’s billion dollar server farms or share memory from a local Mac Pro? And Apple will never make a iOS based Macbook either.

    “Think Different”

    1. Is there not anyone old enough to remember having to use the available hard drive storage to add to your OS 6, OS 7, OS 8 and OS 9 Macintosh computer’s memory? Doesn’t the Macbook Air use any available CD drive in the network. Are all these clowns really this clueless?

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