Apple is said to be preparing a quad-core system-on-a-chip (SOC) for the iPhone 5, which to us, doesn’t really seem to be news, as many new smartphones are releasing with quad-core processors. However, saying it would be based on the architecture of BFF and worst-enemy-foreverSamsung‘s Exynos 4 processor, now that is news.
The rumored quad-core chip information came from DigiTimes, which sources its information from Asian supply chain vendors. Details on the rumored processor, including clock speed or graphics processing capabilities, were not revealed.
The information about a possible quad-core processor for the iPhone 5 came in a wider report on general use of quad-core CPUs in devices for the rest of the year. According to the article, Qualcomm will begin volume production of its quad-core SOCs in the second half of this year, meaning that more OEMs will be able to produce quad-core devices.
The report didn’t address the problems with quad-core chips and their compatibility with LTE, which has prevented some of the latest U.S. smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S III, from shipping in the U.S. with quad-core processors. The U.S. GS3, in fact, ships with a 1.5Ghz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor instead of a 1.4 Ghz Exynos quad-core processor.
Our guess is this is either being resolved or has been resolved. After all, a Korean carrier will be carrying a quad-core GS3 on its LTE network by sacrificing a little extra thickness to have a separate processor and LTE modem.
Much as it probably hates to, Apple still has its iDevice processors based on Samsung technology. After all, Apple and Samsung are involved in patent battles globally over the Korean giant’s Android devices.
Still, the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S ship with a dual-core A5 processor (the iPhone 4S A5 is clocked at a lower speed to save bettery life), while the new iPad (or iPad 3) ships with an A5X which is basically an A5 with quad-core graphics to power the retina display.
We’d guess the iPhone 5’s CPU will be dubbed the A6, and that it might possibly sport technology based on the Exynos processor, but not the Exynos itself.
Of course, for Apple priority one has always been battery life. If the company doesn’t feel it can add a quad-core processor and keep battery life the same, if not better, it won’t.