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Rumor: Apple's iPhone 5 to sport new A8 processor, Qualcomm baseband

post #1 of 90
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Apple's forthcoming fifth-generation iPhone will sport a new, faster custom processor dubbed the A8, as well as a baseband processor from Qualcomm, according to a new report.

Hong Kong-based newspaper Apple Daily reported Friday (via Google Translate) that parts for the new "iPhone 5," expected to arrive this year, will come from Taiwanese supplier Kinsus. The company is said to be working on a new custom processor, dubbed A8.

Apple's first custom portable processor based on the ARM architecture debuted in the iPad last year. Known as the A4, it includes the CPU, GPU and RAM.

The A4 also appeared in the iPhone 4, iPod touch, and new Apple TV. The creation of custom chips became possible through Apple's acquisitions of chipmakers Intrinsity and PA Semi.

Friday's report also notes that the iPhone 5 will include a baseband from Qualcomm, the company that built the first CDMA-based cellular base station in the early 1990s. Qualcomm's radios may also already be present in the forthcoming CDMA iPhone 4, set to debut on Verizon's network on Feb. 10.

The impending launch of the Verizon iPhone has led to some speculation that Apple may not make the so-called "iPhone 5" available in a CDMA variant until as late as early 2012. But Friday's report could suggest that Apple intends to introduce a new CDMA fifth-generation iPhone, along with a new version of the longstanding GSM model, right on schedule this summer.
post #2 of 90
A8... dual core A4?
just dreaming...
post #3 of 90
Might that get confusing with the Cortex A8 given that this "A8" is likely based on the Cortex A9?
post #4 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's forthcoming fifth-generation iPhone will sport a new, faster custom processor dubbed the A8, as well as a baseband processor from Qualcomm, according to a new report.

Hong Kong-based newspaper Apple Daily reported Friday (via Google Translate) that parts for the new "iPhone 5," expected to arrive this year, will come from Taiwanese supplier Kinsus. The company is said to be working on a new custom processor, dubbed A8.

Apple's first custom portable processor based on the ARM architecture debuted in the iPad last year. Known as the A4, it includes the CPU, GPU and RAM.

The A4 also appeared in the iPhone 4, iPod touch, and new Apple TV. The creation of custom chips became possible through Apple's acquisitions of chipmakers Intrinsity and PA Semi.

Friday's report also notes that the iPhone 5 will include a baseband from Qualcomm, the company that built the first CDMA-based cellular base station in the early 1990s. Qualcomm's radios may also already be present in the forthcoming CDMA iPhone 4, set to debut on Verizon's network on Feb. 10.

The impending launch of the Verizon iPhone has led to some speculation that Apple may not make the so-called "iPhone 5" available in a CDMA variant until as late as early 2012. But Friday's report could suggest that Apple intends to introduce a new CDMA fifth-generation iPhone, along with a new version of the longstanding GSM model, right on schedule this summer.

Ok what's different about this processor VS the other ones?
post #5 of 90
Is Apple stealing Audi's car names for their chips? What follows the A8... the A8 Convertible?

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post #6 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capnbob View Post

Might that get confusing with the Cortex A8 given that this "A8" is likely based on the Cortex A9?

A4 X 2 = A8.. Get it it?
post #7 of 90
How about putting that thing on the iPad 2..
post #8 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

How about putting that thing on the iPad 2..

That what will happen. Whatever processor the next iPhone gets we will see it first in the iPad 2.
post #9 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Is Apple stealing Audi's car names for their chips? What follows the A8... the A8 Convertible?

Obviously, the R8. Much snappier than the A8.
post #10 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Obviously, the R8. Much snappier than the A8.

As an older man with more sedentary tastes in ride and luxury... I prefer the A8L-W12 in my iPad 2.
post #11 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

A8... dual core A4?
just dreaming...

You dream too small.

The A4 is a variant of the Arm Cortex A8.
A dual core A4 would be a variant of a dual core Arm Cortex A8 (do these exist?).


The (Apple) A8 is likely a variant of a dual core Arm Cortex A9, the successor to the Arm Cortex A8.

Why do I say this? The Playbook is going to be running a dual core Arm Cortex A9 and is expected to ship in the same timeframe as the iPad. I highly doubt something produced by RIM will outspec apple's products (look at BB phones). If RIM will be using an A9, it should be ready for Apple to use as well.

I really wish Apple chose a different naming convention for their processors.
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post #12 of 90
And it begins...no longer able to inundate us with Verizon rumors, we will now have a year of iPhone 5 rumors.
post #13 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capnbob View Post

Might that get confusing with the Cortex A8 given that this "A8" is likely based on the Cortex A9?

Thats what Im thinking. When I read A8 I start wonder if its a further refined version of the Cortex-A8 or a dual core Cortex-A9. We should be calling this an Apple A8 to get some clarity with these already confusing tags.

I really do wonder if the stock Cortex-A9 is better than what Apple could do to a Cortex-A8 after a couple years to make it more power efficient. I think the Cortex-A9 wins, but then we have to consider the quantities Apple will need out of the gate and for the year. More than 100 million between the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, right? How many are being produced right now?


PS: What is the rhyme and reason for Apples naming convention?
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post #14 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

I really wish Apple chose a different naming convention for their processors.

Yeah, something like the "XH9QQZ4-207-PBLNZX Chip"... which just rolls off the tongue.

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post #15 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by longliveapple View Post

And it begins...no longer able to inundate us with Verizon rumors, we will now have a year of iPhone 5 rumors.

Don't forget the impending iPad 2.0 rumors.

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post #16 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capnbob View Post

Might that get confusing with the Cortex A8 given that this "A8" is likely based on the Cortex A9?

As confusing as the A4 being based on the A8.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150

A4 X 2 = A8.. Get it it?

Hopefully that's what it means. Dual 1GHz processors would make for a very smooth experience and if they can do something like the Atrix phone, that would be awesome.

Think about when you go away on holiday. You don't want to have an expensive laptop with you in case it gets damaged. So you pack an inexpensive dock for your phone and when you plug it in, it runs a desktop UI.
post #17 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capnbob View Post

Might that get confusing with the Cortex A8 given that this "A8" is likely based on the Cortex A9?

Not really. Anyone who knows what a Cortex A8 is, would know the difference in naming schemes.

Most people who buy computers and electronics equipment don't know or care what the name of the processor is or even what type of processor it is.

If it's an A8, they'll just assume it's a newer version of the A4.
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post #18 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Not really. Anyone who knows what a Cortex A8 is, would know the difference in naming schemes.

Most people who buy computers and electronics equipment don't know or care what the name of the processor is or even what type of processor it is.

If it's an A8, they'll just assume it's a newer version of the A4.

What happens when the average consumer compares an Android Phone with an A9 and an iPhone with an A8?
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post #19 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Hopefully that's what it means. Dual 1GHz processors would make for a very smooth experience...

Two single core Cortex-A8s would be better than one dual-core Cortex-A9 for battery efficiency and interoperability? I suppose Apple has the resources to make that work but that seems like a solution in search of a problem with the Cortex-A9 MPCore on the market.

Quote:
...and if they can do something like the Atrix phone, that would be awesome.

Think about when you go away on holiday. You don't want to have an expensive laptop with you in case it gets damaged. So you pack an inexpensive dock for your phone and when you plug it in, it runs a desktop UI.

LOL I think you want this to happen as much as I want optical drives to go away. I think I’ll get my wish first. This may be common at some point but I think we’ll have to wait for some real consumer interest before Apple jumps in with Aqua UI on top of iOS. I think it will years before that is a viable consideration.
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post #20 of 90
Well let's just wait and see what the iPad 2 has and then we can be pretty sure of what the iPhone 5 will have. But it's looking more and more like an iPhone "4GS" to me....in which case if you are on VZ, you may actually regret having waited once iPhone 6 comes out ...you will have much more time left on your contact before you can buy a probable LTE phone with a redesign.

I say get the iphone 4 now if you are on VZ.
post #21 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

You dream too small.

The A4 is a variant of the Arm Cortex A8.
A dual core A4 would be a variant of a dual core Arm Cortex A8 (do these exist?).


The (Apple) A8 is likely a variant of a dual core Arm Cortex A9, the successor to the Arm Cortex A8.

Why do I say this? The Playbook is going to be running a dual core Arm Cortex A9 and is expected to ship in the same timeframe as the iPad. I highly doubt something produced by RIM will outspec apple's products (look at BB phones). If RIM will be using an A9, it should be ready for Apple to use as well.

I really wish Apple chose a different naming convention for their processors.

I don't think the Cortex A8 can actually *do* dual core. Aren't all the dual core Arm chips based on the Cortex A9?

The naming is confusing, but perhaps they are striking back at all the bloggers that spent the last few years calling the iPhone 3G, "2G" (for second gen), and the 3Gs, "3G."
post #22 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

PS: What is the rhyme and reason for Apple’s naming convention?

idk... why did the PowerPC G3 start at 3? and why wouldn't Apple's next be the A5? will iPhone 6 have an A16?
bottom line is, few people know, and few people care.

edit: apparently G3 means 3rd generation. even though it was really the 5th iteration of PPC processors... 601 is 1st gen, and they lumped 602, 603, and 604 together as the 2nd generation.

so the A4 could mean 4th gen iOS processor... (A1-A3 being theoretical names, just like the PPC G1 & G2)

A1 = iPhone, iPod touch & iPhone 3G
A2 = iPod touch 2
A3 = iPhone 3Gs, iPod touch 3
A4 = iPhone 4, iPad & iPod touch 4

but then the A8 makes no sense.
post #23 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

What happens when the average consumer compares an Android Phone with an A9 and an iPhone with an A8?

If they compare the actual devices chances are the iPhone will feel and perform faster and smoother.

If they only look at the CPU designation then even if the iPhone has a Cortex-A9 but called an Apple-A8 then it could reflect poorly.
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post #24 of 90
It's possible they chose A4 simply because the phone they had in development was the iPhone 4.

I really don't think the next iPhone will be called iPhone 5 because it would look like a real backwards move to go from iPhone 5 in 2011 to iPhone 4G in 2012.

No matter what Apple calls their 2012 model the public will call it the 4G because it will be the first phone to support LTE. So expect to see the iPhone 4 name until 2013.
post #25 of 90
I read the original newspaper article in Chinese --- I have nothing to add to the translation. It was confusing in the original Chinese version, just "new A8 processor".
post #26 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

What happens when the average consumer compares an Android Phone with an A9 and an iPhone with an A8?

The average consumer couldn't give two hoots what processor is in a phone. You're mistaking the average consumer with a techy person
post #27 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If they compare the actual devices chances are the iPhone will feel and perform faster and smoother.

If they only look at the CPU designation then even if the iPhone has a Cortex-A9 but called an Apple-A8 then it could reflect poorly.

I agree with both of those statements. Sadly I'm sure a lot of people would do the latter. I'd be a little surprised if Apple actually called it an A8 because of this reason.
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post #28 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

I really don't think the next iPhone will be called iPhone 5 because it would look like a real backwards move to go from iPhone 5 in 2011 to iPhone 4G in 2012.

the should stick with the number. iPhone 4, 5, 6... the 3G really messed it up. and now the original is also called the 2G which confuses people as well.
post #29 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

PS: What is the rhyme and reason for Apples naming convention?

Only Apple knows and I'm sure there's a system.

I would say the 'A' stands for Apple. And the '4' was chosen because it was going into a fourth generation device; the iPhone 4 using a fourth generation OS; iOS 4
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post #30 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

The average consumer couldn't give two hoots what processor is in a phone. You're mistaking the average consumer with a techy person

The average consumer will read specs if they are presented to them and they will assume that the A9 is faster. It's not a good perception, even if it doesn't impact their buying decision.
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post #31 of 90
I really don't understand why this matters. In what way would it improve the iOS products?
post #32 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Two single core Cortex-A8s would be better than one dual-core Cortex-A9 for battery efficiency and interoperability?

No it would be dual 1GHz Cortex A9, I just mean the A8 naming convention works to suggest it's dual-core vs the A4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

LOL I think you want this to happen as much as I want optical drives to go away. I think I’ll get my wish first. This may be common at some point but I think we’ll have to wait for some real consumer interest before Apple jumps in with Aqua UI on top of iOS. I think it will years before that is a viable consideration.

It wouldn't be the aqua UI though, it would be Lion's fullscreen UI. Apple doesn't wait for consumer interest either otherwise there wouldn't be an iPad right now. At the moment, the Motorola Atrix phone is the only device doing this and it's not great because the performance is sluggish. I remember back when the only real touchscreen phone before the iPhone was the LG Prada and then Apple upped the game for everyone.

It's convenient that Lion and the next iPhone will debut at the same time.

Think how well that device would take on the netbook market. It would be ideal for students as they don't need to buy both an iPad and an iPod/iPhone and they can use it exactly like a laptop. An iPod inside this case could be less than $400 and they could make the lightest 15" laptop ever.
post #33 of 90
What about a combo CDMA/GSM chip/phone? Possible? Why not? (Keep in mind that a computer smaller than the size of a room was impossible at one point in time. And it's not like it would be a quantum leap, but more like a x.x.1 update.)
post #34 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

What happens when the average consumer compares an Android Phone with an A9 and an iPhone with an A8?

Won't happen cause Android people call their CPUs "Snapdragon" or "Tegra" or other monikers, and Apple doesn't publish much about their CPU at all, calling it the "Apple A4" but not indicating other details such as the clock speed, integrated GPU, integrated memory, etc. Even so, I wish they'd just name the next chip the "Apple A5".
post #35 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If they compare the actual devices chances are the iPhone will feel and perform faster and smoother.

If they only look at the CPU designation then even if the iPhone has a Cortex-A9 but called an Apple-A8 then it could reflect poorly.

Yeah, they should stick an MC68000 in it... that sucker would really scream! LOL

I'm going to guess they're going the generational route that IBM takes with its POWER line... POWER4, POWER5, POWER6, currently POWER7. Even if they don't, revision/model numbers should only used to compare products from the same manufacturer.

Like Windows 95 vs. Windows 7... boy did Microsoft take a huge step backwards. Confused the heck out of every one! LOL
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post #36 of 90
Buy AT&T iPhone 4 now or wait for next AT&T iPhone this summer?
post #37 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytdave View Post

Won't happen cause Android people call their CPUs "Snapdragon" or "Tegra" or other monikers, and Apple doesn't publish much about their CPU at all, calling it the "Apple A4" but not indicating other details such as the clock speed, integrated GPU, integrated memory, etc. Even so, I wish they'd just name the next chip the "Apple A5".

Yeah, most won't have A9 in the name, but some may. I wouldn't be surprised to see it called A5. A8 is just a rumor after all.
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post #38 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by longliveapple View Post

And it begins...no longer able to inundate us with Verizon rumors, we will now have a year of iPhone 5 rumors.

Nahhh. Just 6 months.
post #39 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

The average consumer will read specs if they are presented to them and they will assume that the A9 is faster. It's not a good perception, even if it doesn't impact their buying decision.

Perhaps that's why Apple doesn't mention the CPU in the specs? (or GPU, RAM and other things for that matter).
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post #40 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

The average consumer will read specs if they are presented to them and they will assume that the A9 is faster. It's not a good perception, even if it doesn't impact their buying decision.

No, they won't. The average person doesn't read specs, they look at price, availability at the time of purchase, and whatever emotional connection they make with the device.

People aren't buying Android phones because they get excited by the latest mobile CPU, as much as tech blogs and enthusiasts like to salivate over same. They buy Android phones because they went to the Verizon store and they wanted to upgrade and that's what was there. Sure, the sales guy is right there to assure them that the more expensive choice goes to 11, but that's the case regardless of what's under the hood.

How many people give a shit, or even know, what's in the current iPhone compared to what's in the latest wonder Android phone? They care if their battery goes dry before they can get through a day, they care if video plays without dropping frames, they care if the UI feels reasonably fluid and doesn't have weird stutters and pauses that make the machine more difficult to use.

Apple will call their next processor whatever they want, but what they'll talk about is the experience. They'll make a big deal about their in-house development effort, how its the fastest bestest iPhone ever, Steve will say "this thing really screams" during his keynote, and all of it will be couched in terms that make head to head spec comparisons irrelevant.

How do I know all this? Because that's what they've always done, and it seems to work great for them. I have no idea why people continue to imagine that Apple is worried about "specs" compared to the competition, or that the general buying public is following the hyperventilation at Endgadget or Gizmodod over dual core mega giga. It's demonstrably untrue. My guess is that a fairly high percentage of Android users don't even know, or care what OS is running on their phone and just dig having a functional browser.
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