Apple may have pulled ahead of the competition with its 64-bit A7 processor—which now powers the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and Retina iPad mini—but according Intel, tablets running Android and Windows software will catch up with Apple in 2014, when the chip-maker releases a 64-bit processor of its own.
Speaking at an investor’s meeting today, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that the first Windows 8.1 tablets with 64-bit Bay Trail processors will launch in the first quarter of 2014. While Windows RT and Windows Phone aren’t designed to take advantage of 64-bit technology, Microsoft’s full Windows operating system is full of powerful apps that can make use of the technology, possibly even giving Apple’s iOS some real competition starting next year.
Krzanich also mentioned an Intel-powered line of Android tablets that will launch later in 2014, apparently starting at just $150. That price makes us think that cheaper versions may still feature 32-bit processors, while more expensive models could make use of Intel’s new Bay Trail chips. Overall, the company hopes to see a huge tablet boom next year, estimating 40 million tablets with Intel chips could ship, up from a projected 10 million this year.