Android tablet vendors gearing up to match Apple’s move to 64-bit processors

by David Needle

March 12 2014

The iPad Air is powered by Apple's 64-bit A7 processor.
The iPad Air is powered by Apple's 64-bit A7 processor.

Apple’s latest iPad and iPhone models were the first to sport fast 64-bit processors getting the jump on rivals like Samsung and others.

According to market research firm ABI Research, Apple’s A7 processor now powers some 36 million iPhones and iPads, but other chip suppliers are ramping up to fortify Apple’s competitors.

By the end of 2014, ABI Research expects shipments of 64-bit mobile processors to top 182 million, of which only 20% will power Android devices.

“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.

“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.

A more significant ramp up for 64-bit chips powering mobile devices is a few years out. The research firm predicts that by  2018 shipments of 64-bit processors targeting smartphones and tablets will be over 1.12 billion units, or 55% of the total market.

Android devices will be the leading customers for 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.

(For news, trends and insights about the the tablet market, sign up for the free Tablet Business/Productivity Update newsletter)

David Needle is Editor of TabTimes and based in Silicon Valley.
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