Hats off to Apple, they’re the first company to ship a phone with a 64-bit processor. Given the rapid pace of innovation in the mobile space, I’ll be shocked if we don’t see an Android phone with a 64-bit chip inside by this time next year. Now one obvious question is when will Android itself support 64-bit code? If the slide above is to be believed, then it looks like KitKat is the answer.
Stepping back, where is that slide from? While Apple was announcing the iPhone, Intel had their own conference in California called IDF. That slide was shown there. What exactly did Intel announce at IDF? Among other things, a brand new system on chip for tablets called Bay Trail. Unfortunately, the Bay Trail chip that was formally unveiled doesn’t support 64-bit code, but according to ZD|Net, Intel has plans to release a 64-bit enabled Bay Trail chip called Bay Trail-T during the first quarter of 2014.
All of this of course is a long and complicated way to simply say that yes, Google knows 64-bit is going to be important. They know because ARM started working on their 64-bit instruction set back in 2007, and ARM unveiled their first 64-bit cores (Cortex A57 and A53) back in October 2012.
So Google isn’t stupid, they were just blindsided by Apple. It happens to the best of us.