64-bit Android Is Starting To Hurt

Ever since the iPhone 5s was announced with a 64-bit processor, I have been watching when Android will move to 64-bit. My concern is that if Android does not move to 64-bit soon, the performance gap between Android and iOS may widen to a point where it becomes ridiculous to talk about “High-End Android”.

I initially thought that it would be a software issue; that Google would not commit itself to the high-end and would not be aggressive in moving the OS and applications to 64-bit. This has been true to a certain point. However, AppleInsider reports that the CPU hardware might be having an even harder time moving to 64-bit.

Following up on rumors in December that described “hard to solve” issues that Qualcomm was experiencing as it works to deliver its first mainstream 64-bit mobile chip, Bloomberg has now reported that Samsung “will use its own microprocessors in the next version of the Galaxy S smartphone.”

Citing “people with direct knowledge of the matter,” the new report said Samsung tested Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 but “decided not to use it.” Both companies have declined to address the issue publicly.

Two weeks ago, a research note by JP Morgan described the same overheating issue, explaining, “For the Snapdragon 810, a flagship chip for use in high-end models, we believe the issues are related to the implementation of new 64-bit ARM cores (A57), which is causing overheating when accelerating above 1.2-1.4 GHz frequencies, which is a major limitation for a flagship phone.”

This is starting to look very bad. It is starting to look like high-end Android will truly end up being a Samsung exlclusive.