The iPhone 5 introduced a brand-new Apple processor, the A6 CPU. It features a completely different architecture from the previous A5 chip of the iPhone 4S. An analyst report suggests that the 2013 iPhone 6 will stick with the A6, and that we’ll see the A7 processor in 2014, when – should the economy not have collapsed – the “iPhone 7” should arrive.
Linley Gwennap of the Linley Group says that Apple’s CPU production cycle is likely to work on the basis of a two-year refresh, pointing towards a big A7 update in 2014. Linley said, “to keep pace with competitors using ARM’s own cores, the company will have to crank out a new CPU design every couple of years.”
He says that Apple will be “already working” on the next-generation processor, “which will likely implement the 64-bit ARMv8 instruction set.”
This doesn’t mean that the iPhone 6 and the iPad 4 will feature exactly the same chip as the iPhone 5, merely that the basic chip architecture will remain. Apple may still up the number of cores, or the clock speed.
The iPhone5 A6 CPU is a 1GHz dual-core chip that, as Apple promised, wipes the floor with all previous iOS devices. In the Geekbench benchmark, it scored 1601 points, where the iPhone 4S managed just 630. It also pips both the quad-core Samsung Galaxy S3 and Google Nexus 7, which scraped in just below the iPhone 5 with 1560 and 1591 points respectively. During the iPhone 5 launch, Tim Cook described the iPhone 5 as “twice as fast” as the iPhone 4S. He wasn’t joking.
The iPhone 5 goes on sale this Friday, with Apple Stores in the UK set to open at 8am. In typical sod’s law fashion, the weather has gotten a lot colder just in time. If you’re going to be standing outside an Apple Store in the small hours of Friday morning, our thoughts will be with you – drop us a line in the comments if you’ll be there.
For more iPhone 5 news, check out our round-up