“Apple’s iPhone 5s announcement included a surprise leap to a new 64-bit ARM chip architecture, a subject that has sparked lots of confusion and misinformation,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider. “But the secrecy surrounding the A7 may also have fooled analysts into slashing their sales expectations and downgrading the company’s stock targets.”

“A variety of details are still unknown about Apple’s A7 implementation. This includes exactly what CPU cores it is uses (it may be a extension of Apple’s custom Swift cores in the A6, now implementing the 64-bit ARMv8 instruction set, or it could be either a stock or customized version of ARM’s Cortex-A50 series cores); how many CPU cores it uses; and what GPU cores it uses (new support for OpenGL ES 3.0 suggests it uses Imagination Technologies ‘Rogue’ Series6 GPU design),” Dilger reports. “It’s also not known for certain who is fabricating the A7, despite mounting evidence suggesting that production may have shifted from Samsung to TSMC.”

“Back in June, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek reported that Apple had cut production orders for iPhones, based on his ‘inventory checks.’ Misek didn’t detail all of his research, but he did specifically note one reason for believing that Apple was cutting its iPhone orders. ‘Our checks also indicate,’ Misek wrote, as covered by CNET, ‘that Apple’s wafer starts at Samsung’s Austin fab have likely been cut,’ Dilger reports. “We don’t know that Misek’s understanding of Apple’s ‘wafer starts’ in Austin were accurate, but if they were, there’s more than one reason for that to occur.”

MacDailyNews Take: The supply chain is very complex, and we obviously have multiple sources for things. Yields might vary, supplier performance might vary… Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret that data point as to what it meant for our business. – Apple CEO Tim Cook, during the company’s January quarterly earnings conference call

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