Apple dominates 64-bit mobile processors as also-rans lag behind

Just one quarter after the launch of Apple’s A7, the first 64-bit mobile processor, the company managed to power more than 36 million iPhones and iPads with this chip. With the introduction of A7, Apple has once again shaken the whole mobile industry, forcing chipset suppliers and device vendors to make 64-bit chips a high priority in their roadmaps.

Intel, Marvell, MediaTek, Qualcomm, and Nvidia all announced their first 64-bit mobile processors at Mobile World Congress this year, but 64-bit-compliant smartphones are unlikely to hit the market before the release of the next Android update, expected in the second half of the year. By the end of 2014, ABI Research expects shipments of 64-bit mobile processors to exceed 182 million, of which only 20% will power Android devices.

Interestingly, the overwhelming majority of 64-bit mobile chips announced so far are targeted at the mid-range of the Android market and not the high-end part of it. “A number of early adopters will initially use 64-bit as a catchy marketing strategy to easily communicate differentiation using ‘more-is-better’ adage previously used for promoting performance in the multi-core processor race,” commented Malik Saadi, practice director at ABI Research, in a statement. “This is not to say that 64-bit processing will not add any significant value to the Android sphere but the benefits of this technology will become apparent only when its implementation over Android matures,” Saadi added.

Apple A7

By 2018 shipments of 64-bit processors targeting smartphones and tablets will exceed 1.12 billion units, representing 55% of the total market. Android devices will be leading consumption of these chips with 60% market share, followed by Apple’s iOS with 30% and Microsoft Windows in the third position with less than 9% market share.

ARM will be the dominant instruction set for 64-bit mobile processing over the forecast period but will gradually lose market share to x86 architecture, which will grasp about 10% share of the total market by 2018.

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Mobile Device Semiconductors Research Service.

Source: ABI Research

MacDailyNews Take: Apple leads. The rest follow at a distance. As usual.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Brawndo Drinker” and “James W.” for the heads up.]

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  1. This 64-bit processor would be much more impressive if there was something that it did that was different from prior devices and was obvious to the user.

        1. Do you really think that the Fingerprint ID sensor has anything to do with 64 bits? How can I see the difference with 64 bits on games that DON’T YET EXIST? Please discuss the differences that anyone can notice right now.

            1. Please tell me what percentage of games are 64 bit on the App Store? Then tell me how many of those games benefit from 64 bit processors? I know that the GRAPHICS PROCESSOR makes a difference but it is not the 64 bit A7 chip.

              I think that maybe you are new to Apple products and are of the ilk who grew up with Windows spec chasing mentality thinking bigger is better.

    1. It’s still very early in the 64 bit mobile game. Apple has enabled the SW developer world. Apple built it, and they will come. Just as it took time to transition desktop SW from 8 to 16 bit, 16 to 32 and 32 to 64, this ramp up period has started for the iOS world. Apple’s competitors are easily a year behind, maybe more. It’ll be an interesting study to see what slick things the SW developers will come up with for the 64 bit iOS world.

    2. Well that’s the point isn’t it… It doesn’t have to be obvious to the user, it’s a CPU, not a camera or display. The new 64 bit architecture allows your phone to be more efficient. The iPhone 5S is up to twice as fast, with a less powerful battery, but still maintains the battery life of the previous model.

  2. I hope you are joking.

    If not, a question: Your qualifications for making such SWEEPING criticisms of the world’s largest tech company are…. what, exactly?

    1. His qualifications are that he jacks off in the office toilet twice a day and calls that a productive day. He’s known by his office mates as Jackoff Smith.

    1. Good point, and as the article reflects, the Android market will put in 64 bit without any benefit to the user – just to sell product as NEW.

      Apple has a game plan, 64-bit has been the candy Apple has been seeking during its search for processors. Intel just wouldn’t agree to that direction nor could they supply hence why Apple abondoned Intel for mobile processors.

  3. At the top of the slide it says desktop class. That’s where they are headed with this in the end I reckon. Iphone also runs osx or a merged version on ios and osx. On the go it works like an iphone. Get home or to work and it connects to the TV or monitor wirelessly and off you go as you would with a mac. Heck, the iphone screen could even become the trackpad.

  4. When Apple released 64 bit iPhones, Android manufacturers tried to claim that 64 bit on a phone was nothing more than a marketing gimmick. Now they’re planning to put 64 bit processors into mid-range Androids, which can’t take advantage of that power, which really does make it nothing more than a marketing gimmick. It’s certainly one way to show that they were right.

    The huge difference between Apple’s 64 bit iPhones and the promised 64 bit Androids is that 64 bit iPhones are absolutely guaranteed to receive additional functionality with IOS updates over the next few years, while 64 bit Androids won’t have any certainty of being able to be updated.

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