Ina Fried

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Qualcomm Introduces Its First 64-Bit Chip, Though This One Takes Aim at the Low End

qualcomm_snapdragonQualcomm is detailing on Monday a new entry-level mobile processor that packs a number of high-end features.

The Snapdragon 410 is designed for phones that sell for $150 or less but includes, among other features, support for high-speed LTE networks and improved graphics. It is also the company’s first 64-bit-capable mobile chip.

The addition of 64-bit capability is a tad awkward for Qualcomm, though. Earlier this year, Qualcomm’s then-chief marketing officer, Anand Chandrasekher, called Apple’s introduction of 64-bit chips a “gimmick.”

“I think they are doing a marketing gimmick,” Chandrasekher told IDG News Service. “There’s zero benefit a consumer gets from that.”

Qualcomm quickly backtracked from the comment, though, and reassigned the former Intel executive to a vaguely defined new role.

Update, 2:25 p.m. PT: Products using the Snapdragon 410 are expected in the second half of next year.

Although Qualcomm is bringing 64-bit to the low-end first, this is likely a matter of timing and one can expect to see it throughout the Snapdragon range, although Qualcomm isn’t giving specifics of when the other chips in the line will get the capability.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus