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Android OEMs to likely cash in on Apple’s 64-bit ‘marketing gimmick’

64-bit Mobile Processors for Android

A new note from ABI Research reveals that 64-bit mobile processors will dominate the mobile landscape by 2018, when such processors will grab 55% of the market. Criticized when Apple first unveiled it, and deemed to be nothing else than a “marketing gimmick” by Qualcommuntil the company later rescinded those comments – the A7 chip inside the iPhone 5s and iPad Air is only the first of a plethora of 64-bit mobile chips that will power devices off all shapes and sizes in the coming years.

According to ABI, four years from now 64-bit processor shipments will exceed 1.12 billion units, with Android accounting for 60% market share followed by Apple with 30% and Windows with 9%.

However, it will take a while for Android device makers to actually start shipping devices packing 64-bit CPUs, especially high-end ones. Of the 182 million 64-bit processors that will ship this year, only 20% of them will power Android devices, with the rest of them likely being a combination of A7 and A8 chips.

Initially, 64-bit processors will be used in mid-ranged Android devices – chip makers are yet to announce flagship 64-bit chips – with OEMs expected to actually use these chips for their marketing value more than anything else.

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

Google is yet to announce when Android will be updated to support 64-bit processors. Meanwhile, Intel, Marvell, MediaTek, Qualcomm, Nvidia and Samsung have announced plans to release 64-bit mobile chips of their own.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.