updated 08:35 am EDT, Mon August 9, 2010
Rumors of iPad w new CPU and AMD Fusion Apple TV
Apple's plans for the next few months could include significant speed boosts to the iPad as well as significant changes to the Apple TV and iPhone. Rumors floated by Digitimes Research analyst Mingchi Kuo have an early 2011 iPad making a generational leap to an ARM Cortex-A9 processor and doubling memory to 512MB of RAM. The design is much more power efficient and can support two to four cores, although whether Apple would go to multi-core isn't certain.
The recently hinted at seven-inch iPad would be the same as the upgraded 9.7-inch model and would share the same 1024x768 resolution, possibly preserving app compatibility across models.
Possibly calling into question the accuracy of Kuo's claims was his description of the new Apple TV. He supported beliefs that it would use a variant of iOS and cloud-based storage but asserted that it would use an AMD Fusion processor. The approach would be unusual as it would be the first x86 device to run iOS. However, it would also give the Apple TV a built-in GPU with enough power to decode 1080p video.
Production would reportedly start in December, which would be in step with AMD's official schedule of a Fusion launch in the first half of 2011.
The analyst also supports notions of a Verizon iPhone in January but with an unusual design that would veer significantly from the iPhone 4's design; it would allegedly have a metal back rather than glass and would have an "integrated antenna," although how this would be different isn't known. China Telecom would also be in line to get the phone, the analyst said.
The new design would start production in December at Pegatron and would ultimately play a large part in Apple's iPhone production: about 35 percent of iPhones would be CDMA versions once at full tilt, Kuo claimed. He also speculated that Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg would detail the phone at his CES 2011 keynote, but the session is due to focus on 4G and isn't likely to involve the iPhone. Apple has historically avoided CES and, even after exiting Macworld, chose a special event of its own for the iPad rather than using the Las Vegas event.