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Leak: iPhone HD to use Apple's own chips too

updated 01:50 pm EDT, Mon April 19, 2010

Next iPhone said to use A4 variant

The next-generation iPhone (often called the iPhone HD) will use Apple's own custom processor, a scoop from anonymous executives maintained today. Where the iPhone 3GS and earlier models were using primarily Samsung-designed chips with an Apple influence, the next iPhone will supposedly use a primarily Apple-created silicon. Features weren't discussed with the Korea Times contact, but a variant of the iPad's A4 processor is the most probable candidate.

A move of the sort was already expected but may be important for Apple, which may be pushing for an HD focus with its new smartphone. The A4 is already capable of 720p video playback and could see that feature, as well as better battery life, carry over to the iPhone version. It's uncertain if Apple will have to underclock the A4 or otherwise make significant changes to accommodate the tighter spaces and power requirements of a handset.

The A4 is known to be a modified, system-on-a-chip design based on ARM's Cortex-A8, much like the processor found in the iPhone 3GS but with a newer PowerVR SGX535 graphics core, a higher clock speed and other optimizations.

Samsung would face a significant, if partial, customer loss if the details are accurate. It still manufactures the A4 and would likely do the same for the iPhone, but Apple will no longer be one of the largest customers for its actual designs. Despite its expertise, Samsung has only occasionally tried to custom-design processors for its phones, such as the 1GHz chip in the Galaxy S.


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By Electronista Staff
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  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999

    +2

    Publicity stunt?

    Maybe this is just a publicity stunt and costs Apple absolutely nothing.

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    +4

    HD

    I've never heard any other site call it the Iphone HD. Where did they come up with this? As if apple would copy microsoft in the name.... come on.

  1. Spacemoose

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2004

    +6

    I think this is brilliant PR.

    You've decided to make a fairly radical change to the appearance to your highly beloved, highly successful, and highly anticipated product.

    You know that a lot of people will be extremely vocal about the changes. The loudest complaints will come from the dedicated Apple fan-base. You also know, from past experience, that many people who hate the new appearance will grow to love it or tolerate it before very long at all.

    You are certain that there will be a great deal of international press after you announce the product.

    That press would universally pick up on stories of 'dedicated fan base unhappy with the changes'. Every article touting the new device, would include a line or two about the Apple faithful being loudly against the new version.

    So, you leak the device months early. You know the the Apple faithful will scrutinize the device in every way, people will agonize over it, people will tout it's beauty, they will disassemble it, they will even start to rationalize the reasoning behind the aesthetic changes. Eventually, the Apple faithful will grow quiet about the aesthetic changes, and nearly universally start to drool over the feature and spec bumps.

    All that will happen on the Apple fan-sites, and well out of the public eye. By the time the product is released and all the media attention is in full-afterburner, the 'base' will be done with the new look. Most of the people that had initially hated the look, now love it and want two, most of the rest will have already shouted themselves hoarse months earlier.

    There would still be numerous people who dislike the change (as there are always people complaining about the look of Apple's products), but the furor over the look would be dead. The Apple fan-base would be strongly behind the new product. The media would have nothing negative to report on.

    Brilliant PR move.


  1. slider

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +7

    Not Apple's Style

    Apple didn't deliberately "lose" a prototype iPhone for PR - the comment, IMO, is ridiculous.

    I think someone at Apple has suddenly left the country - whereabouts unknown.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    scoop?

    Really? That's a scoop? A surprise? Apple would use their own processors in their new phone? One would think it would be a scoop and a shock if you could confirm it wasn't going to use Apple's processor.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -7

    Re: brilliant PR

    Seriously? Brilliant PR? For what? I slightly different looking iPhone?

    And I think you discount the Apple faithful too much. You actually believe a majority wouldn't be drooling over it regardless of what it looked like? That's all they do, so they wouldn't waste their time "Oh, look, the buttons are different. Waaaahhhhh!" anyway.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +6

    PA Semi cost how much?

    $278 million? I would expect Apple to do much more than just slightly warm-over the ARM design after spending that much money for all that design talent. Especially after more than a year and a half. I wouldn't be surprised if iPhone OS 4.0 "unlocks" new features of the A4 that 3.2 can't access.

  1. lklarson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +4

    CDMA, or I don't care

    It doesn't matter what it looks like, if it won't work in areas that AT&T chooses not to cover.

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