New 4-inch iPhone to run Apple's A9 chip, 'iPad Air 3' to sport A9X - report

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 2016
Though they are expected to be priced as mid-range products, Apple's latest iPhone and iPad updates will run the same latest-generation processors as their flagship counterparts, a new report reveals.




In a cover story profiling Apple's chipmaking operations, Bloomberg reported that Apple's new 4-inch iPhone will run the same A9 processor found in the iPhone 6s series, its sources said. In addition, the "iPad Air 3" is expected to be powered by the A9X processor already found in the larger iPad Pro.

If accurate, the information would reveal that the new 4-inch iPhone, rumored to be called the "iPhone 5se" or "iPhone 6c," will be more powerful than Apple's current mid-range handset lineup, the iPhone 6 series. Priced starting at $549, the iPhone 6 runs an A8 processor with 1 gigabyte of RAM.

The A9 chip in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, meanwhile, has 2 gigabytes of RAM, allowing app data to remain active in the background for longer. The A9 is more than 50 percent faster than the A8 at multicore operations, and nearly 60 percent faster at single core tasks.

The A9 also includes the M9 motion coprocessor, which allows the iPhone 6s to track pace when running. It also powers the always-on "Hey Siri" functionality that allows users to invoke the voice-driven personal assistant without touching their phone.




If the new 4-inch iPhone gains all of the features of the A9 chip in the iPhone 6s, it's still unknown how Apple plans to price the device. Earlier rumors had suggested Apple might price it under $500 without a subsidy, but that would undercut the $549 iPhone 6 with a device actually more powerful.

As for the third-generation iPad Air, the A9X processor found in the iPad Pro is a dual-core CPU with a 12-cluster GPU. The beefed-up chip doubles the graphics power of the base A9 processor found in the iPhone 6s series.

The A9X also boasts 4 gigabytes of RAM, doubling the amount of memory in the iPad Air 2 and iPhone 6s. Performance is also aided by a new storage controller that improves both read and write speeds.

Apple is widely expected to announce both the new 4-inch iPhone and iPad Air at a media event on March 15. The devices are rumored to go on sale just three days later, on Friday, March 18.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Yes, current generation as in released last year. The iPhone 7 will have an A10 chip in just a few short months. Of course these devices will run A9s. What did you think they'd run? A8s? That was never in the cards.

    Also don't be surprised when the old iPhone 6 is dropped from the lineup at the same time this is introduced.
    edited February 2016 williamlondon1983asdasdcornchip
  • Reply 2 of 52
    Why would they sell a new phone for under $500? I can't see how that would possibly make sense.
  • Reply 3 of 52
    The A9X in the Air 3 will likely be downclocked given the smaller battery (plus less pixels to push). Don't expect it to outdo the Pro from a performance standpoint. 

    Same with the 6e vs the 6s. 
    netmagebsimpsencornchip
  • Reply 4 of 52
    First time I have seen the "6e" label. Why not "6-", then you would have the small (-), medium () and large (+) labels.
  • Reply 5 of 52
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    The A9X in the Air 3 will likely be downclocked given the smaller battery (plus less pixels to push). Don't expect it to outdo the Pro from a performance standpoint. 

    Same with the 6e vs the 6s. 
    Yes thank you for the lecture. We understand how it works. 
    No one expects it to "outdo the Pro". It's the iPad Air 3. It need only outdo the iPad Air 2.
    williamlondonai46cornchip
  • Reply 6 of 52
    josujosu Posts: 217member
    I say it yesterday the new iPad will be more or less a 9,7" Pro, with the kind of differences that are between the 13" and 15" MacBook Pros or the 11" and 13" MacBook Airs.
    mike1
  • Reply 7 of 52
    josujosu Posts: 217member
    The A9X in the Air 3 will likely be downclocked given the smaller battery (plus less pixels to push). Don't expect it to outdo the Pro from a performance standpoint. 

    Same with the 6e vs the 6s. 
    Is the same kind of difference that exist right now between the 6/6+ and the 6th gen iPod Touch. well, and that one is a phone and the other no. And those new devices are iPads and iPhones as well.
    edited February 2016
  • Reply 8 of 52
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,988member
    This means Apple knows to do right thing. This 4"incher can go long way and will help Apple to keep 2 years or so update window.
    edited February 2016
  • Reply 9 of 52
    Given that a good amount of the 6s speed increase came from increasing the clock and the 6sc will probably have a smaller battery than the 6s, it probably won't be much faster than the 6. 
    edited February 2016
  • Reply 10 of 52
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    The A9X doesn't have 4G of ram, the ram is not on the SOC.
    netmageai46cornchip
  • Reply 11 of 52
    What I found more interesting in this story is Apple's original plan was for the iPad Pro to run A8X. Thank god they changed that plan (or development of the A9 forced them to change plans).
  • Reply 12 of 52
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Why would they sell a new phone for under $500? I can't see how that would possibly make sense.
    It doesn't and won't happen, especially if it has the A9;.
    If it had the A8 and had the spec of the Iphone 6 it would make sense.
  • Reply 13 of 52
    pmz said:
    The A9X in the Air 3 will likely be downclocked given the smaller battery (plus less pixels to push). Don't expect it to outdo the Pro from a performance standpoint. 

    Same with the 6e vs the 6s. 
    Yes thank you for the lecture. We understand how it works. 
    No one expects it to "outdo the Pro". It's the iPad Air 3. It need only outdo the iPad Air 2.
    Did you read the article? AI explicitly expects the new 4" phone to outperform the 6/6+. They then go on to intimate that the iPad Air 3 will match the iPad Pro. It immediately occurred to me that AI had neglected to consider that Apple would be aware of the "apparent" value conundrum, and avoid it.
  • Reply 14 of 52
    OMG. Will you writers stop talking about the 4" phone as a value phone and start talking about it as a smaller top tier phone?? Predicting it will be priced at $550 or higher. It's not a bargain phone guys. Plenty of people with money to spend want smaller phones.
    williamlondonEric_WVGGmike1ai46roundaboutnowcornchip
  • Reply 15 of 52
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    It will be a underclocked A9X, probably using the pen.
    If they don't boost the screen resolution, that alone would enable them to seriously cut the weight by removing much battery.
    So, it could weight 350g. If they don't shave much thickness, the extra space could be used by better speakers.

    Such a weight would be great.
    it would be close to the perfect weight for such a device to hold long term with one hand.
    diplicationai46
  • Reply 16 of 52
    ksecksec Posts: 1,566member
    I would love to see how Apple is pricing this out. I am hoping 

    iPhone 6s Plus  $749 -> $649
    iPhone 6s          $649 -> $549
    iPhone 6 / Plus - Discontinues
    iPhone 6c?        $499

    Now why do that? It will literally create another cycle for iPhone buyers. So now instead of a yearly buying pattern, you have added another mid cycle incentive for those who want to upgrade. Normally the latest iPhone price stays the same over the course of the year. So why not get it ASAP. That is why the 1st two quarter after iPhone release tends to the spike. While the last two quarter levels off. By lowering the price two quarters it will also make the prices minded buyer to hold. Which will smooth out the initial production rush.

    Also most of Apple's competitors now stays out of the September Flagship model release and not to go head to head with Apple. They all decide to release their phone in March sometimes after MWC. Now Apple will have a weapon against them. $100 dollar discount.


    asdasdcornchip
  • Reply 17 of 52
    ksec said:
    $100 dollar discount.


    $100 discount 6 months after launch? Is that wise?
    edited February 2016
  • Reply 18 of 52
    ksec said:
    I would love to see how Apple is pricing this out. I am hoping 

    iPhone 6s Plus  $749 -> $649
    iPhone 6s          $649 -> $549
    iPhone 6 / Plus - Discontinues
    iPhone 6c?        $499

    Now why do that? It will literally create another cycle for iPhone buyers. So now instead of a yearly buying pattern, you have added another mid cycle incentive for those who want to upgrade. Normally the latest iPhone price stays the same over the course of the year. So why not get it ASAP. That is why the 1st two quarter after iPhone release tends to the spike. While the last two quarter levels off. By lowering the price two quarters it will also make the prices minded buyer to hold. Which will smooth out the initial production rush.

    Also most of Apple's competitors now stays out of the September Flagship model release and not to go head to head with Apple. They all decide to release their phone in March sometimes after MWC. Now Apple will have a weapon against them. $100 dollar discount.



    I suspect they'll keep the 6/ 6 Plus around for another 6 months at least, if not 18. it give an 'in' to those who want a larger phone than the 4inch.



  • Reply 19 of 52
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    ksec said:
    I would love to see how Apple is pricing this out. I am hoping 

    iPhone 6s Plus  $749 -> $649
    iPhone 6s          $649 -> $549
    iPhone 6 / Plus - Discontinues
    iPhone 6c?        $499

    Now why do that? It will literally create another cycle for iPhone buyers. So now instead of a yearly buying pattern, you have added another mid cycle incentive for those who want to upgrade. Normally the latest iPhone price stays the same over the course of the year. So why not get it ASAP. That is why the 1st two quarter after iPhone release tends to the spike. While the last two quarter levels off. By lowering the price two quarters it will also make the prices minded buyer to hold. Which will smooth out the initial production rush.

    Also most of Apple's competitors now stays out of the September Flagship model release and not to go head to head with Apple. They all decide to release their phone in March sometimes after MWC. Now Apple will have a weapon against them. $100 dollar discount.


    There is no discount, just like there is no spoon. Cutting margins, like Samsung always does 6 month after launch would be BAD and set a precedent.
    So, they won't do it.
    edited February 2016 ai46
  • Reply 20 of 52
    I don't see the 6/6S going away until the fall. No way will Apple discount the flagship devices $100 only 6 months after launch.
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