Qualcomm has just announced the Snapdragon 410 chipset series, which is Qualcomm’s first announced processor with 64-bit support, but it’s actually more interesting because it aims to make integrated 4G LTE support a lot more affordable for device manufacturers. They plan to launch the 410 as a manufacturing sample by the first half of next year, which means it could be in shipping phones by this time in 2014.
The 64-bit component is a key part of these new chipsets and should make it possible for devs to take advantage of improved processing capabilities in future Android software. But the LTE support being made available to devices like the Moto G, which currently uses a Snapdragon 400 as its powerhouse, and even more affordable devices sold in emerging markets like India and other places is bound to be far more exciting to device makers, app developers and service operators. Access to broadband is often cited as a key factor in helping determine not only income but quality of life, so making LTE affordable, even if only on the consumer hardware end, could have a tremendous impact on the global economy.
It’s not just Android that stands to benefit here, either – Qualcomm calls out specifically Windows Phone and Firefox OS as supported by the Snapdragon 410, too. But for a North American audience, I’d be watching this very closely as used by the newly rejuvenated powers at Google-owned Motorola: As of right now, the Nexus 5 is probably the best deal in a 4G-capable off-contract phone, but Motorola could convert the remaining non-smartphone users domestically into both smartphone and LTE users in one fell swoop.