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Qualcomm retracts 'gimmick' comment on Apple 64-bit chip

Qualcomm says a statement made by an executive panning Apple's 64-bit A7 chip is "inaccurate."

Apple A7 chip layout.
Apple 64-bit A7 chip layout. Chipworks

Qualcomm is now saying that 64-bit computing is the future, after dismissing Apple's 64-bit A7 processor last week.

Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Qualcomm, characterized Apple's 64-bit A7 chip, which debuted in the iPhone 5S, as a "gimmick" last week in an IDG News Service story.

"I know there's a lot of noise because Apple did [64-bit] on their A7. I think they are doing a marketing gimmick. There's zero benefit a consumer gets from that," Chandrasekher said in an interview.

Qualcomm is singing a different tune this week. The San Diego company issued the following statement Tuesday:

The comments made by Anand Chandrasekher, Qualcomm CMO, about 64-bit computing were inaccurate. The mobile hardware and software ecosystem is already moving in the direction of 64-bit; and, the evolution to 64-bit brings desktop class capabilities and user experiences to mobile, as well as enabling mobile processors and software to run new classes of computing devices.

ARM, the company behind the 32-bit chip designs from Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung, and Nvidia, believes that there will be a need for 64-bit ARM chips in future smartphones and tablets.

James Bruce, ARM's lead mobile strategist, explained to CNET last month that high-end smartphones and tablets are already headed toward 64-bit computing.

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said last month in a note to investors that Apple's switching to the 64-bit A7 processor may not benefit Apple in the short term but "we believe that longer term it is a game changer as apps are rewritten and cross platform capabilities become utilized."