Analyst: Apple could equip 5.5" 'iPhone 6' with more powerful processor than 4.7" model

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2014
As the supposed September unveiling of Apple's next-generation iPhone lineup draws nearer, at least one Wall Street analyst believes that the component makeup of the rumored 5.5-inch and 4.7-inch "iPhone 6" variants will diverge when it comes to their application processors and touch modules.

TSMC Fab
TSMC's 12-inch wafer fab


Cowen & Co. analyst Timothy Arcuri cited Asian supply chain checks when making the prediction in a Monday morning note to investors. A copy of the report was provided to AppleInsider.

Arcuri's sources signaled that the 5.5-inch iPhone will feature a more powerful application processor than its smaller sibling, though no details were given as to the disparity. Apple has made similar moves in the past; the A7 processor in the iPad Air is clocked at 1.39 gigahertz, for instance, compared to 1.29 gigahertz for the otherwise-identical part in the iPad mini with Retina display.

There is some indication that the difference could be more than semantic, however. Arcuri also said that the processor in the 5.5-inch model could ship with a larger die, hinting at a more wide-ranging architectural split.

A larger die might be a sign that the 5.5-inch model will feature additional on-die silicon, such as a larger array of graphics processing cores. Alternatively, it might suggest that Apple will make the two chips -- believed to be the "A8" -- in different fabrication plants using different processes.

At least one rumor previously suggested that Apple would split A8 manufacturing between Taiwanese semiconductor giant TSMC and South Korea-based Samsung, though further reports indicated that TSMC had instead won the full order.

In addition the processor differences, Arcuri believes that both iPhone 6 models could sport different touch modules. Taipei-based TPK currently supplies touch modules for the iPhone, though a change could be in the works as the company is said to have been chosen as the manufacturer of silver nanowire-based parts for the so-called "iWatch."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 82
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Just like they did with the iPad Air and iPad mini? :no:

    Apple can barely manage to get this iPhone and iOS launch done, and its at the expense of just about every other product or potential product.

    They are not working on TWO new chips. Delete this "rumor". At the most, this refers to slightly different clock speeds of the same chip.
  • Reply 2 of 82
    kotmarkotmar Posts: 17member
    develop two processors, that's highly unlikely!
  • Reply 3 of 82
    dipdog3dipdog3 Posts: 79member

    The 5.5" iPhone 6 is fake.

  • Reply 4 of 82
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Except there is no iPhone 5.5"- at least not until we see a [I][U]single[/U][/I] leak for it. And there certainly won't be an A8+ for it.

    Bored this morning?
  • Reply 5 of 82
    Well, they did make an A5/A5X and also an A6/A6X.

    However, I think the A7 allowed Apple to combine both increased performance (suitable for the iPad) and reduced power consumption (for the iPhone) into a single device. I don't see them going back to making an A8/A8X.
  • Reply 6 of 82

    Apple Anal-cyst here!

     

    I can also make predictions.

     

    My Supply chain checks indicates that Apple is going to equip all of their iPhone 6 variants with the same Ax processor. Now how do I get paid?

  • Reply 7 of 82
    wingswings Posts: 261member
    To answer their question, yes of course they could.

    Also, of course they could not just as easily.
  • Reply 8 of 82
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,360member

    Could? Yes.

     

    Would? No.

  • Reply 9 of 82
    jusephejusephe Posts: 108member
    Well it will be deffinitelly the same chips. But there are variances in the same proces, Apple could put those better, lower powered chips in to the smaller new iPhone and those worse made, higher powered ones will be put into the bigger new iPhone or iPad instead of being thrown away.
  • Reply 10 of 82
    wdowellwdowell Posts: 207member
    Another breathless speculative article that adds nothing and states the obvious of what could be possible
  • Reply 11 of 82
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I think Apple would be making a big mistake if they come out with two new phone sizes and gave the larger phone better specs. Especially considering they basically went the opposite way with iPads last year. All you really had to focus on was what size you wanted. You didn't have to make any compromises. What If I don't want a phablet but still want the best camera/processor/display etc. IMO the only differentiation that would be warranted is something that is specifically suited to a larger screen. Like iPads getting split screen multitasking but perhaps the 4.7" iPhone not getting that feature.

    I'm still not convinced a 5.5" device exists, or if if does that Apple is considering it just a larger iPhone. If there's going to be differentiation, IMO it will be a completely different device with a specific purpose, like perhaps mobile gaming. Or maybe in an ironic twist it will have pen support ala the Galaxy Note.
  • Reply 12 of 82
    pmz wrote: »

    Apple can barely manage to get this iPhone and iOS launch done, and its at the expense of just about every other product or potential product.

    Barely manage to get this launch done? Now who's buying into rumors?
  • Reply 13 of 82
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,013moderator
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DipDog3 View Post

     

    The 5.5" iPhone 6 is fake.


     

    This is exactly what I've been thinking.  There is scant evidence for a 5.5" model.  It's as though the rumor of such has been generated to ensure that there will be disappointment at the Sept iPhone 6 introduction with the goal being to crash the stock.

  • Reply 14 of 82
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,852member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post



    Just like they did with the iPad Air and iPad mini? image



    Apple can barely manage to get this iPhone and iOS launch done, and its at the expense of just about every other product or potential product.



    They are not working on TWO new chips. Delete this "rumor". At the most, this refers to slightly different clock speeds of the same chip.

     

    Where does that ridiculous comment come from? Apple has been successfully launching products on time for years. What would make you say they "can't get it done"? For years, Apple has launched products in September with clearly stated and hit delivery dates. What products are they at the expense of?

  • Reply 15 of 82
    I would not be surprised if the A8 on a larger-format iPhone is clocked at a faster speed, since it should be easier to cool. I would also not be surprised by other differences between the two iPhones (4.7 vs 5.5) such as one having a Gorilla Glass screen and the other having sapphire, one coming with 16 GB standard and the other with 32GB.

    I would be surprised, however, if their prices are the same or nearly the same. Apple would benefit financially by dividing the iPhone market into "superior" and "premium" segments -- one priced at $649 and the other priced at $749 or $799. Apple's incremental cost of a premium model might be $50, more or less, while its incremental revenue would be two or three times that amount.
  • Reply 16 of 82
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    Not surprising. Apple's market share has grown so large, it needs Good-Better-Best versions to cover the wishes of so many different customers. This is a move in that direction.

    I just hope they don't botch it like they did the 5c. That model looked little different from a host of other smartphones and was overpriced in comparison to the 5s. Making the Best have a larger screen and more power, the Better a mid-sized screen, and keeping the 5s (but not 5c) available for Good would work better.

    Apple's real problem lies with how contract-subsidized marketing currently works. Even a $199 to $0 difference between the Best and Good models may not be enough to cover the differences. The monthly contract for Better may need to cost more than that for the Good. It might even make sense to make that the only difference.

    Apple's also being missing the boat by showing iPhones and iPads being used in all sorts of outdoor activities without having a Sport model with an impressive waterproof, drop-proof Milspec rating.
  • Reply 17 of 82
    dipdog3 wrote: »
    The 5.5" iPhone 6 is fake.

    It's every inch an iPad.
  • Reply 18 of 82
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    stantheman wrote: »
    I would not be surprised if the A8 on a larger-format iPhone is clocked at a faster speed, since it should be easier to cool. I would also not be surprised by other differences between the two iPhones (4.7 vs 5.5) such as one having a Gorilla Glass screen and the other having sapphire, one coming with 16 GB standard and the other with 32GB.

    I would be surprised, however, if their prices are the same or nearly the same. Apple would benefit financially by dividing the iPhone market into "superior" and "premium" segments -- one priced at $649 and the other priced at $749 or $799. Apple's incremental cost of a premium model might be $50, more or less, while its incremental revenue would be two or three times that amount.
    Screen size shouldn't define whether an iPhone is "premium" or not. What if I prefer faster processor, better camera, screen and battery life but I don't want a phablet? The iPad Air is slightly faster than the retina mini but in every day use it is hardly noticeable. And the color gamut is slightly better on the Air as well. Other than that the two devices are the same. Why would Apple go the opposite way with iPhone?
  • Reply 19 of 82
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    inkling wrote: »
    Not surprising. Apple's market share has grown so large, it needs Good-Better-Best versions to cover the wishes of so many different customers. This is a move in that direction.

    I just hope they don't botch it like they did the 5c. That model looked little different from a host of other smartphones and was overpriced in comparison to the 5s. Making the Best have a larger screen and more power, the Better a mid-sized screen, and keeping the 5s (but not 5c) available for Good would work better.

    Apple's real problem lies with how contract-subsidized marketing currently works. Even a $199 to $0 difference between the Best and Good models may not be enough to cover the differences. The monthly contract for Better may need to cost more than that for the Good. It might even make sense to make that the only difference.

    Apple's also being missing the boat by showing iPhones and iPads being used in all sorts of outdoor activities without having a Sport model with an impressive waterproof, drop-proof Milspec rating.
    Who decided larger screen = Best? I don't want a 5.5" phone. If Apple goes that route then I'll just keep my 5S and see they they do next year. I'm not going to purchase an inferior device just because I prefer a smaller screen size.
  • Reply 20 of 82
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,666member
    inkling wrote: »
    Not surprising. Apple's market share has grown so large, it needs Good-Better-Best versions to cover the wishes of so many different customers. This is a move in that direction.

    I just hope they don't botch it like they did the 5c. That model looked little different from a host of other smartphones and was overpriced in comparison to the 5s. Making the Best have a larger screen and more power, the Better a mid-sized screen, and keeping the 5s (but not 5c) available for Good would work better.

    Apple's real problem lies with how contract-subsidized marketing currently works. Even a $199 to $0 difference between the Best and Good models may not be enough to cover the differences. The monthly contract for Better may need to cost more than that for the Good. It might even make sense to make that the only difference.

    Apple's also being missing the boat by showing iPhones and iPads being used in all sorts of outdoor activities without having a Sport model with an impressive waterproof, drop-proof Milspec rating.

    So much wrong in this comment.
    1. iPhone MS isn't that large. They have a good, better, best already. Designing for everyone is designing for no one. Can't please everyone so don't waste time trying.
    2. How was the 5C botched? It outsold what the 4S did last year.
    3. Apple doesn't have a problem. Why would the plans change according to device?
    4. Lots of people use their iPhones outdoors and have no problems. Sport version is a marketing gimmick.

    My prediction is the 5.5" will come with a rainbow vomiting unicorn.
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