Expert expects A5 processor in next-gen Apple iPhone: Enough reason to upgrade?

“Apple’s next iPhone will pack the company’s newest A5 processor, but the additional horsepower won’t be a major upgrade motivator unless Apple pulls some high-powered apps from its own pocket, an iPhone expert said,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld.

“The new iPhone, which most analysts have said will ship in September, will be powered by the A5, the same processor that runs the iPad 2, said Aaron Vronko, CEO of Rapid Repair, a repair shop and do-it-yourself parts supplier for the iPhone, iPod and iPad,” Keizer reports. “Vronko based his bet that the A5 will make its way into the next iPhone on Apple’s history of keeping its smartphone and tablet lines in sync. Last year, Apple stuck the A4 — the first of its own designs — into the original iPad, then several months later dropped it into the iPhone 4. Apple used the A5 in the iPad 2 that launched last March.”

Keizer reports, “Because Apple has not yet released an SDK (software developers kit) for iOS 5 — it’s expected to do so early next month at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference — the only apps Vronko expects to see at launch that really take advantage of the A5 will be Apple’s own. Minus a slew of apps that leverage the A5’s power, any promised speed increase could be a moot point to customers. And that could dampen enthusiasm among the faithful, many of whom have upgraded their iPhone annually.”

Read more in the full article here.

23 Comments

    1. I couldn’t agree more. If you study Apple’s history like this author obviously has in noting the processor upgrades, why would you conclude that Apple was going to just speed up the existing phone–that is not their track record.
      What a stupid analysis–just because he can’t think of anything new that Apple can add to phone, doesn’t mean the brilliant Apple people can’t think of anything. Everytime I upgrade my iPhone I think I’ll pass the next upgrade and they come up with something compelling to move me to the next model.

  1. “Apple faithful” is a misnomer, at least in the context of this article. It’s more like “Apple lemmings”. They’re the bright ones who buy a new iPhone every year.

      1. Exactly! There are lots of potential customers that either have an older model iPhone, or no iPhone at all. I am sure that a 1-year upgrade cycle is wonderful for Apple, but a lot of people try to eke out a little more value by keeping devices for several years.

        My son’s original iPod touch is still working fine, although the battery life has noticeably diminished.

        1. Anyone keeping an iPhone for more than 18-21 months (the nominal period on AT&T when you become eligible for a fully subsidised upgrade) is donating money to AT&T.

          When you sign up for a two-year contract, you pay only $200 for a $750 phone. The remaining $550 are recovered by AT&T from your monthly plan. The recovery period is between 18-21 months, depending on which plan you have. Once AT&T makes you eligible for a full subsidy on the next upgrade, that means that you had paid off the iPhone. Your monthly plan does NOT go down, however. Therefore, some $25 per month of your plan is your personal gift to AT&T.

          Even if you are perfectly happy with your old iPhone, you should upgrade the very first day you become eligible for full subsidy. If you don’t like the new model, just sell it on eBay for $700 (or if you like it, sell the old one for $300). Either way, you actually make some money, get a new phone and most importantly, you don’t donate your hard-earned cash to AT&T. If you really feel like donating money, give it to a charity instead.

          1. Um, believe it or not some people reading this don’t actually live in the USA. What AT&T might or might not do is irrelevant to the vast majority of the world’s iPhone users. For most of us, multiple carriers and legally unlocked or pre-paid iPhones have been around for years.

    1. So far I’ve been able to sell my old iPhones on eBay for more than the cost of upgrading to the new ones, so I’ll continue to do so. I know I’m resetting my two-year agreement each time, but I’ve been happy with AT&T and haven’t wanted to switch anyway, so the upgrades really aren’t costing me anything.

    2. The proper label would be “smart people”. If you get a new iPhone after only one year on an iPhone plan, it will likely cost you about $400. A 1-year previous model can easily fetch more than that on eBay (if in good condition, of course). Even an old 3GS will still get you over $300 today.

      Getting new phones and renewing contract means never gifting money to AT&T (when subsidy period expires).

  2. Well, I don’t know. This article looks like a thinly veiled attempt to discourage iPhone 5 purchasing. For goodness sakes, the phone’s specs haven’t even been announced. This article could easily be as incorrect as the first articles about the iPhone, before it slammed into the market. . . . And there’s still collateral damage from that event.
    Is Computer World on MS’s paid shill list?

  3. What are stats of two-year old handset owners who upgrade? I’d imagine those people, me included, are wishing that the phone was coming out in June.

  4. I think the iPhone 4 was such an amazing product that even Apple will have trouble luring people to upgrade. I had the orgional iPhone – battery sucked, camera sucked but I loved it. I skipped the iPhone 3g. I bought the 3GS as soon as it was realeased because I needed a better battery and the wanted the GPS. The iPhone 4 has been the 1st iPhone with an “acceptable” battery, an amazing camera, unbelievable display and a GPS that has made me forget where my TomTom is.

    While I never doubt Jobs and Co’s ability to astound I doubt they can tempt with a 4GS.

  5. “but the additional horsepower won’t be a major upgrade motivator”
    May be not for you, but for me, 9 times the graphics power and doble core is a leap frog.

    $tupid ANALyst, just because they are so ignorant to know a product does not means no body will want it.

  6. It is highly illogical to combine a delay with a minor update. Why should Apple delay the new hardware in times of fierce competition with new Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy 2, if its only a speed bump? Only because iOS 5 will be ready in September does´t mean Apple could ship iPhone 5 with something like iOS 4.4 on time the same way as it did with iPad 2.

  7. I think one of the new things with the iphone 5 will be a cross network phone. One that goes on verizon and AT&T.. That way Apple just makes one product but used on 2 carriers. Not sure if it will be a 4G phone but I’d almost hope it was, if not then it would get a lot of disrespect from analysts (which talk out of their ass anyways) stating how all these other phones are 4G. I think one thing that people are missing the point on is…. they are buying 4G phones and there is pretty much no 4G network fully established. Unless you are a lucky one that lives and travels within a 4G area all the time. I wonder how much battery use 4G will use compared to 3G and edge and will the iphone have the ability to choose edge/3G/4G or maybe this is where they would then drop edge.. but kinda doubt it.

  8. Think about it folks… iPhone 4 has been out for less than ONE year, with a TWO-year contract. Most of the customers for the next iPhone (“iPhone 5”) are people currently using an iPhone 3gs (from the previous year), or first-time iPhone buyers.

    There is enough reason to upgrade from an iPhone 3gs to iPhone 4, so iPhone 3gs to iPhone 5 is a non-brainer. For iPhone 3gs users, the upgrade is (at least) a new dual-core processor, more system RAM, Retina Display, better rear camera, FaceTime camera, gyroscopes, thinner design, etc.

    And for first-time iphone buyers, iPhone 4 is the most popular smartphone in the world. The iPhone 4 attracts new customers every day. That’s not going to change when Apple improves the iPhone.

    1. Agreed. Some people upgrade every year but are willing to pay the extra cost. Most, like me, wait till the 2 year contract is up and then jump in.
      Unless of course like my wife who “accidently” left her iP3GS on the roof of her car and drove off down the street. Saw something fly off in her mirror and turned around to pick up the pieces 🙂

      I would like the iP5 to arrive in June but am getting resigned to it turning up in Sept now. For me the improved CPU, camera, screen will be sufficient for the upgrade. After all I’ve only got the iP3GS at the moment.
      It would be nice to get a larger screen and maybe some additional features over iP4 but the CPU is itself a compelling reason to wait for the iP5 to come out.

      1. What extra cost are you talking about? I’ve upgraded every year and I only had to pay the upgrade price. I preordered the iPhone 4 and I got the 3Gs the day it was released. I think most people don’t realize that you can upgrade without paying full price for the phone. It will obviously extend your contract though.

  9. ” Aaron Vronko, CEO of Rapid Repair, a repair shop and do-it-yourself parts supplier”

    Oooh, quoting a complete know nothing repair dude! What’s next? A report from a bag lady who gleans cans from the street around the Apple campus and “sees things”?

  10. iPhone 5 (or 4S) will be ubiquitous, working on any carrier. Sprint and T-Mobile will be able to offer their plans, maybe with a trade-in offer to buy out the ATT plans. I’m thinking things will get real competitive, real quick. That iPhone guy in the T-Mo commercials is going to get lucky.

  11. Reminder, the entire fall or later rumor is based on the ship date of a new improved multiband chip with better power management. If the next phone is in the vain of a 4GS it will be on time.

    If Apple is delaying, estimated 20-30 billion market cap hit, the iPhone 5 will rock. No matter how much it rocks naysayers always pour out of their cracks and plenty of user will fail to upgrade as their current iPhones exceed expectations.

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