Mobile Market to Follow Apple's 64-bit A7 Processor

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The iPhone 5S was a disappointment for many Apple fans. Though the device undoubtedly contains better hardware than the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5S was more of an incremental improvement than the yearly leap iPhone lovers had become accustomed to.

The biggest change in the latest iPhone was the implementation of Apple's new 64-bit A7 processor. Though it is still unclear why a 64-bit mobile processor might be needed for an iPhone, the hardware does future-proof the iPhone line somewhat and provide direction in a market where Apple design still sets trends.

Market research firm ABI Research today confirmed that mobile makers will be once again following Apple with new 64-bit processors of their own. The firm's new report predicts that more than 182 million 64-bit mobile processors will be shipped during 2014. Of these, only 20% will be found in Android, meaning Apple will sustain its huge early lead in the market. ABI estimates that more than 1.12 billion 64-bit processor-equipped smartphones and tablets will ship in 2018, a majority of all devices predicted to ship that year.

Though chip manufacturers such as Intel, Qualcomm, and Nvidia have all announced 64-bit mobile processors, ABI pins the release of these new processors to the release of the next revision of Android. This could come late in the year, explaining the low market share estimates for 64-bit Android smartphones.

As with Apple's A7 both manufacturers and consumers are not quite sure of the benefit of 64-bit processors in smartphones and tablets. That won't, however, prevent marketing departments from portraying the hardware as the biggest leap since 4G data.

“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,” said Malik Saadi, practice director at ABI. “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,”

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