Rumors point to faster iPhone being tested internally at Apple

Apr 10, 2012
Tech

The iPad is here, and that means there will be fewer rumors to spread about the device for a while, unless you count the rumors about how Apple will fix the device’s Wi-Fi issues. In the meantime, it’s time we spent all our effort thinking and talking about Apple’s yearly refresh of the iPhone. Last […]

The iPad is here, and that means there will be fewer rumors to spread about the device for a while, unless you count the rumors about how Apple will fix the device’s Wi-Fi issues.

In the meantime, it’s time we spent all our effort thinking and talking about Apple’s yearly refresh of the iPhone. Last year, Apple launched the iPhone 4S, a new device with the iPhone 4’s outer design and a few new internal components, like the iPad 2’s A5 processor chip. This year, rumor has it the smartphone could be faster and sport a new design.

In fact, according to 9to5Mac, Apple is already internally testing a new iPhone, but if you saw it on the streets it wouldn’t look like a new iPhone. That’s because when testing such devices internally, Apple stuffs the new iPhone components into the old iPhone outer casing, in order to hide leaks. But those internals will be quicker than previous versions, the report says, with the new device sporting as much as 1 gigabyte of RAM for faster operations.

But the rumors suggest the next iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 5 for our purposes, will, in fact, sport a new outer shell design in order to refresh the iPhone pretty much the way Apple does with every other version. Since it has been two years since the release of the iPhone 4, it’s expected that Apple will roll out a fresh version of the device in the iPhone 5, instead of a revamp of the previous model.

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The report is quick to point out that what it details isn’t an actual iPhone Apple will put into production, but an internal test model, so who knows just how many of these features will make it into the iPhone 5. But the report does say that the test iPhone packs a prototype version the new iPad’s faster and more powerful A5X chip, rather than the iPad 2’s A5 chip found in the iPhone 4S.

This makes sense, given that the iPhone seems to be inheriting internal hardware from the iPad, but it’s not expected that Apple is going to use the same A5X it included in the new iPad. That chip was created specifically to drive the third-generation iPad’s Retina display screen; adding it to the iPhone 5 wouldn’t really be necessary or make a lot of sense, though we’ve heard rumors of a bigger screen coming to the iPhone, too. But as 9to5Mac reports, the rumor is a new version of the chip is being used, likely built specifically with the iPhone in mind.

We’re also expecting the iPhone 5 to sport 4G LTE capabilities because Apple already added them to the iPad, and with the iPhone 4S, Apple used the A5 chip in from the iPad it released earlier that year. It makes sense that some version of the A5X would make its way into the iPhone 5, since Apple has already created it.

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That’s all speculation, however, and 9to5Mac never cites a source for its information. It does seem likely and in keeping with past rumors and evidence that we’ll be seeing a redesigned iPhone this year, and that a powerful new processor will make it capable of doing even more than it’s high-powered predecessor.

With new games and apps released for the iPad, Apple will likely want to bring the iPhone up to the same level of power, just like it did with the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2. That way, more people will be able to use more universal apps between those devices, which means more happy customers. Whether it’ll be the 1GB powerhouse Apple is rumored to be testing currently, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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