RUMOR: Apple testing iPhone ‘4S’ with A5 chip

“The iPad 2′s A5 processor not only is a speedy, dual-core chip, but also works to provide nine times the gaming performance of its predecessor, A4,” Mark Gurman reports for 9 to 5 Mac. “So, what’s Apple to do for their best-selling gaming phone? Give it the A5 chip with remarkably better gaming performance.”

“Apple isn’t taking the next iPhone’s A5-power lightly,” Gurman reports. “They already have select developers working on versions of their iPhone applications that take full advantage of the next-generation iPhone’s speedier and much more powerful hardware.”

Gurman reports, “These developers, seemingly from high-level gaming outfits, have been given what is essentially an iPhone 4 but with an A5 processor instead of an A4… The person who chose to share this information with us calls it the ‘iPhone 4S’, though the device itself only has typical Apple prototype nomenclature.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. Won’t happen, unless they decide to offer a choice of 3 different sized iPhones, which probably won’t happen either, as the current size is doing just fine and offering variety would complicate supply chain and add boku costs. 4″ is too big for probably 95% , including me. What’s the benefit you get for all the extra weight and bulk, exactly? I’d rather keep my pocket light.

      1. It might be possible to squeeze a 4″ diagonal display into the existing iPhone 4 design without increasing its lateral dimensions (thinner border).

        iPhone 4 dimensions: 4.5″ x 2.31″
        iPhone 4 display: 960×640 pixels @ 326ppi
        2.945″ x 1.963″
        4″ display with same 3:2 aspect ratio and 960×640 pixels
        3.328″ x 2.219″ @ ~288ppi

        Display size difference is 0.383″ longer and 0.256″ wider to go from a 3.5″ to a 4″ display. Theoretically, you could fit this into the current dimensions of the iPhone 4, although I am not claiming that it would be practical to do so. Also note that unless Apple increased the number of pixels in the 4″ display to 1080×720 (which would screw up app design and scaling), the display resolution would decrease to ~288ppi. The “retinal” display is a big Apple selling point for the iPhone 4. Do you believe that Apple is willing to go below 300dpi for a slightly larger display size? Or does Apple have some type of technology for display resolution independence up its corporate sleeve?

        If you increase the diagonal dimension by 0.5″ while maintaining the aspect ratio of the iPhone 4 display, the lateral dimension of the display

        1. They’re not changing the display for a long time. Changing the resolution impacts the whole platform and requires developers to change their apps to support it.

  1. A modified iPhone 4 (aka 4s, etc) makes sense with the Verizon iPhone 4’s recent release, the promised release of the iUnicorn white iPhone soon, and based on the 3G – 3Gs precedent. Then a bigger update later this year or next year (iPhone 5).

  2. Oh please no. Just get on with the iPhone5. The A5 designation is already making it sound like an Audi.

    Introducing the all new A5 4s. Purrs like a kitten! Runs like a cat outta hell!

  3. The “S” designation would be somewhat of an irritant to me this far into the iPhone product line. The incremental update that was the 3GS was fine at the time I suppose as it seemed to be a nice speedier update to a very basic iPhone 3G. But, with how fast technology improves nowadays, having another possible incremental update to a “4S” or 4″whatever” which sports just a speedier processor, with still having to be locked into a two year contract if a new iPhone is acquired, doesn’t seem satisfactory to me. If Apple wants to stay ahead of the curve – and competition – then such incremental upgrades just won’t do anymore and only impressive advances of the technology would seem to be acceptable in a new phone (i.e. a faster processor with a bigger 4-inch screen, more storage, extended battery life, etc.) – not just a speed bump as the 4S would imply.

    1. I don’t agree. Apple and everyone else uses this approach with desktops and laptop computers. They release a major design update every couple of years with incremental releases that incorporate faster/newer processors, additional memory, bigger HDD, etc.

      If Apple integrates the new A5 processor into the iPhone 4 design, then iPhone 4S or 4GS or whatever is a reasonable appellation. It is difficult to believe that this would be an “irritant” to anyone, but I suppose that some people are impossible to please.

  4. Incremental updates won’t do?

    I LOVE the look & feel of my 4. And radically changing the form factor every year is tooo much change. So make it faster, especially for games, more RAM, better camera, maybe NFD. That’s all incremental… but so what.

    The big breakthrough will be 4G/LTE… but that’s not ready for prime time yet (Apple says too many “design compromises”… I read that as “battery life”… and great battery life is an important part of the “it just works” proposition… more so if you’re going to game on it!)

  5. I think it will be “iPhone 5,” despite the incremental changes.

    The “3” in 3G and 3GS stood for using the 3G network, not for 3rd generation. There never was a model called “iPhone 2.”

    Now that the number equates to the generation, the next iPhone model is the 5th generation iPhone. Therefore, it should be “iPhone 5.” iPad is also using a number to signify generation.

    1. That doesn’t quite make sense, since the A5 is also in the new iPad and it was not called “iPad 5.” 🙂 But I agree that the next iPhone model will be (or should be) called “iPhone 5.”

  6. It really makes a whole lot of sense to keep the current form factor, while upgrading the camera, processor, battery (if possible) and antenna. It leverages the whole after-market supply for out-of-the-gate accessorizing against the competition, as well as capturing all the current iPhone 4 owners who can hand off their old phones and upgrade but keep all their favorite cases, stands, cables, etc.

    Also, the pattern has already been set with the continuation of the iPhone 3Gs. So you continue to sell the iPhone 4 at a lower price to capture all the come-alongs, and sell the iPhone 5 at the old price points. Tou- and -che to all the fragmented, phone-of-the-month competitors that keep ditching their aftermarkets trying to hit Apple’s moving target.

    That also prepares 2012 for a release of something different, and avoids being forced to reinvent the wheel literally every year, like so many other manufacturers feel like they have to do (and waste money doing it).

  7. From what I understand, the A5 is about twice the real estate of the A4. Some have guessed as to why it’s so large, but I keep thinking it’s because they want to add more functionality like the baseband, NFC and other features. So, the question is there a significant advantage in performance and efficiency (e.g. longer battery-life)? If so, the subsequent variants are made on a smaller nanometer scale?

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