Yesterday, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) announced its latest addition to the Snapdragon processor family. This time around, the company is making an important strategic departure though by embracing ARM's (NASDAQ:ARMH) big.LITTLE design for the first time, where low-power cores are matched with high-power cores. That's a stark contrast to Qualcomm's long-standing opposition to such a strategy, frequently arguing that a fewer number of more powerful cores is the way to go.

The move is a clear response to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which revealed a 64-bit A7 processor alongside the iPhone 5s late last year. Apple caught rival chipmakers completely off guard, and they've been scrambling to catch up ever since. Qualcomm's departure from using its own custom architecture is directly tied to the need for a faster competitive response.

In this segment from Tuesday's Tech Teardown, host Erin Kennedy and Motley Fool tech and telecom bureau chief Evan Niu discuss the reasoning behind Qualcomm's change of tune. 

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Erin Kennedy owns shares of Apple. Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple and Qualcomm. Evan Niu, CFA has the following options: long January 2015 $460 calls on Apple and short January 2015 $480 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Qualcomm. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.