Is a 64-bit smart phone war worth it?

A 64-bit smart phone clash between Apple Inc. and rival phone maker Samsung Electronics Co. may be underway, but will smart phone users care?

A week after Apple unveiled its new iPhone 5S handset with a 64-bit processor, Samsung confirmed this week that it will release by September 20, a new Galaxy smart phone with an ARM-based 64-bit A7 processor.

64-bit processors are able to handle code for more demanding mobile games or health-related mobile apps that use bio sensors that provide tons of data. The technology can enable data-intensive video editing for high-definition 4K video which has applications in both the business and consumer space.

Samsung’s move to match Apple appears to signal that 64-bit processing is going to become an important advancement in smart phones much like the transition in PCs from 32-bit to 64-bit technology a few years back.

However, Patrick Moorhead, analyst at Moorhead Insights & Strategy, said that a 64-bit race would be “silly” since the technology only adds “memory addressability and nothing else” to the current mobile space.

He said benefits of 64-bit will not kick in until memory densities on device get higher and apps become more sophisticated.

Phone users may be more interested about having larger screens on their mobile devices than a 64-bit processor, according to Jack Gold, analyst for J. Gold Associates. He said other smart phone features are likely to be more meaning to buyers than 64-bit processors at the moment.

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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