The principle of the Fourier transform, which dates back to the 19th century, is that any signal, such as a sound recording, can be represented as the sum of a collection of sine and cosine waves with different frequencies and amplitudes. This collection of waves can then be manipulated with relative ease—for example, allowing a recording to be compressed or noise to be suppressed. In the mid-1960s, a computer-friendly algorithm called the fast Fourier transform (FFT) was developed. Anyone who’s marveled at the tiny size of an MP3 file compared with the same recording in an uncompressed form has seen the power of the FFT at work.

via A Faster Fourier Transform – Technology Review.

A faster transform means that less computer power is required to process a given amount of information—a boon to energy-conscious mobile multimedia devices such as smart phones.

Note the higlighted statement. Power consumption is trumping speed in modern computing devices. Also Note: The author of the linked to article isn’t me.