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Rumors Of Apple's New A7 Chip Could Indicate That CPU Innovation Is Flagging

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    Rumors Of Apple's New A7 Chip Could Indicate That CPU Innovation Is Flagging

    With every new iPhone, most of the discussion centers around its look and not what comes inside. But, according to reports, Apple has designed a new dual-core A7 system on a chip for the iPhone 5S. If rumors are true, the A7 could supposedly be 31 percent faster, representing a serious slowdown in spec improvement. It could indicate that the smartphone market may have matured and that existing smartphone owners won’t feel the urge to upgrade to a new model anymore. When it comes to smartphone chips, Apple is a lone ranger. It has been designing its own ARM-based chips for a couple of years. It outsources production to Samsung and other manufacturers. But the important part is that only Apple devices use Apple chips. So far, this strategy has proven to be successful. The iPhone 4S was twice as powerful as the iPhone 4, and had nine times the graphics processing capabilities. The iPhone 5 was once again twice as fast as the iPhone 4S, with twice the graphics performance. That’s why this year’s 31 percent performance boost is lackluster, it it turns out to be true. If the new iPhone is indeed called the iPhone 5S, the ‘S’ will probably not stand for ‘speed’. A 31% CPU speed increase sounds like a huge failure to me, specially considering previous generations showed ~100% improvements.— Paul Haddad (@tapbot_paul) August 26, 2013 On paper, Android phones are more powerful. Right now, the Snapdragon 800 and Tegra 4 both come with at least 4 cores and more raw power. But Apple doesn’t want to compete in the spec game. The main advantage is that Apple can optimize the A7 for its own set of APIs, making it feel faster than it actually is. Even though Snapdragons have more GHz, iPhone apps are still fast because Apple takes advantage of its chip architecture like no one else. That’s why the gap isn’t as wide as expected. Moreover, Apple’s custom design strategy improves battery performance. Apple needs to reduce both component costs and R&D costs Yet, why were the A6 and the A5 much faster than their predecessors? Because smartphones were not as fast as Apple wanted them to be. If you want to use Siri or play nice games, you need the iPhone 4S. If you want to use the upcoming AirDrop feature, you need the iPhone 5. Today’s rumors could tell another

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