Originally Posted by melgross
I wonder if that's true. We should be seeing a new version of Real Racer 2 with not only 1080p output while gaming, but with a controller display for the iPad 2 at the same time.
I don't know if the A5 is powerful enough to handle 1080p output of games, but who's going to demand 1080p outputting of a game meant to be viewed on a portable 960x480 screen, anyway? In the meantime, a better graphics processor can calculate more triangles per second, meaning more realistic images.
What really interests me is if the A5 is powerful enough to decode and output 1080p H.264 video. And if so, will it get to an AppleTV update late this year? But then again, is an AppleTV refresh needed anytime this year? Who uses 1080p streaming, anyway? Netflix is 720p, as is iTunes. Going to 1080p 2D or 720p 3D streaming requires 6-8 Mbps, which is a bit too much for most homes in the country. If the A4 can pass through 1080p AirPlay data from an iPad 2, then there's no need for an A5-based ATV upgrade, just to make that possible.
I don't know if it's as cheap for Apple to make an A4 as an A5, but if it is, then why update the AppleTV anytime soon? That can buy time for Apple to put an A6 into the next AppleTV, which might literally be a TV.
We don't know what's going on now. For all we know, this is a deliberate delay for the
Purpose of using LTE. But we have to remember that most areas of the country don't have LTE yet. Until sometime 2012 there won't be coverage over most of the country, and not until sometime 2013 will the entire country be covered. The same thing is true in most places.
Something else to think about: While LTE will take a while in most places (especially with AT&T, which won't implement it at all 'til 2012), HSPA+ "4G" will get a much more aggressive rollout through AT&T and T-Mobile. So if Apple chooses not to put HSPA+ in their next iPhone, it'll be competing against numerous 4G HSPA+ Android phones that, unlike LTE, don't drag on battery life quite so bad. Additionally, 2012 will come with the release of phones that have more power-friendly LTE chips than the current ones; that will help with Verizon's 4G Android smartphones. So if you look now, sure, being 3G-only's not a big deal. 2012 could be a brand-new ballgame.
Oh, plenty of people are buying iPhones now. That's not the problem. It's what could happen in, say, April of 2012, when a lot of AT&T 4G Android devices will likely exist, and people might want 4G capability in their smartphones. I think you underestimate the public's desire for faster speeds, everywhere. It's different than features like GPS or some obscure app they download once and never use, again. Many features will be used once a day by the average user, but Internet speeds will be noticed by a smartphone user multiple times every day; it becomes a quality of life issue.
Sure, HSPA+ and LTE won't be coming to a lot of countries for years, but the American market is so important in determining what platforms appmakers develop for, since the money to be made in apps mainly comes from American customers. We both know the apps are ultimately what drive smartphone purchases above everything else, even 4G. But since most top apps are available on iOS and Android, that evens things out for customers. 4G might not.
Back when Apple was being chided for remaining 2G, smartphones were relatively rare devices which were purchased by techno-geeks who knew what they were buying. Plus, no one had Apple's kind of touchscreen OS, so where else would you go? Today, Android's damn close to iOS, to the point that a lot of people who don't know any better would say that an Android phone's just like an iPhone. They probably wouldn't compare iPhone and BlackBerry that way, today. Additionally, smartphones are being marketed to the masses, at lower prices, in ways that weren't imagined back in 2007.
Apple has a brand-new iPhone plant coming online this year, and at the same time, Apple's losing marketshare to Android. The added capacity will be needed to reverse the trend, but so will top-quality hardware that can match up well with Android in the eyes of the average American. For them, trading away the 4G speeds for iOS may not make sense, unless Steve can bring out some killer feature that buys Apple six months to a year's worth of 4G-like sales, until Google copies it to Android. Cloud functionality might be it, but Google has been into the cloud on the desktop, so Apple might not get six months.
So to me, remaining 3G-only is a risk, as is going to LTE on Verizon before mid-2012. Getting a hefty 4G exclusivity subsidiary from AT&T, keeping the iPhone 4 available on Verizon, all while keeping competitive with Android, looks pretty safe on both the front end and the back end.