HTC Brings ARMv8 ISA To The Low-End With The Desire 510 Smartphone
Today, HTC is announcing the Desire 510, a low cost phone that comes with a 4.7" screen, 854 x 480 resolution (which is a little on the low side), 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage with microSD support up to 128 GB, 5MP rear camera and VGA front camera and 2,100 mAh battery. It's running Android 4.4 with the latest version of Sense on top. The price is not yet known, but given the specs, it should be somewhere around the Moto G level.
What's special about this low-cost phone is that it brings the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture (and all the improvements the architecture brings) to the low end of the market, and it has an integrated LTE modem as well, thanks to Qualcomm's Snapdragon 410 SoC.
Having conquered the high end of the market with its integrated LTE modems, it looks like Qualcomm is preparing to conquer the low end of the market using the same strategy -- even while many of its competitors are still struggling to bring integrated LTE to the high-end.
This strategy has worked quite well for Qualcomm in the past, and there's no reason to believe it won't work again, especially as more carriers upgrade to LTE networks worldwide. HTC is merely the first OEM to adopt Qualcomm's 64-bit chips early, but more devices should be using its low-end and mid-range 64-bit chips soon.
Unfortunately for Qualcomm, its high-end 64-bit chips aren't going to be ready anytime soon, which leaves an opening for both Nvidia and Samsung to steal some market share. In fact, the same company that's pushing for 64-bit Qualcomm chips at the low-end right now, HTC, is also rumored to use Nvidia's upcoming ARMv8-based Denver chip in the Volantis/Nexus 9.
HTC is smart to bet on 64-bit, not just because it's the latest "trend" in mobile chips, but also because it happens to be the future of the ARM architecture, and all chips and devices will transition to ARMv8 over the next few years.
With Android L fully supporting ARMv8, it makes sense for HTC to future-proof its devices so it can deprecate the support for ARMv7 devices sooner and only have to support its ARMv8 devices in the near future. That should make it a lot easier for its development teams, which means we could also see more and faster upgrades for HTC phones once the company only has to deal with one instruction set.
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