Apple’s Apple’s A8 chip in iPhone 6/Plus supports 4K video playback

“The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have resolutions of 1335×750 and 1920×1080 respectively, but both Apple devices are still capable of 4K video playback,” Amit Chowdhry reports for Forbes.

“The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will not be able to display the same level of detail expected from 4K videos (3840×2160 resolution) since the native displays on the devices are lower, but the ability to playback 4K is still impressive,” Chowdhry reports. “The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are able to playback 4K video because of the powerful Apple A8 64-bit system on a chip (SoC) built into the devices. The A8 has 25% more CPU performance and 50% more graphics performance than its predecessor, known as the A7.”

“Softorino, a company that developed Mac software for uploading music and video files to iOS devices called WALTR, told TUAW that they discovered the 4K video playback capabilities in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus while testing their app,” Chowdhry reports. “The WALTR Mac app lets users upload files to iOS devices that are not supported by iTunes like MKV, AVI, WMA and FLAC files.”

Read more in the full article here.


      1. No. Streaming is limited to the connection — bluetooth, wifi, ethernet — that you’re streaming over. The device that receives the stream must render data to the screen. So it’s the displaying device that must be capable of rendering 4K in order to display 4K.

        I’m thinking this points to a future Apple TV using this chip — making that Apple TV capable of displaying 4K

      2. Yes it can be streamed yet present hardware limits the process in which video is being “Airplay”ed.
        Yet more exciting; perhaps what we are seeing (exposed) is a hint to Apple TV or iTV offering 4K or 5K quality – hurray!

      3. H.265 has arrived on several apps, including handbrake, yet the powerful savings and compression is not in its entirety. More improvements are still to come for this format. And yes, iTunes and Apple will be there for this. And why BluRay was not in the scopes for Apple. But, H.265 was – as key to small file size, high quality – internet sendable – 4K video.

  1. Can’t wait for the 4K upgrade to iTunes Store. I hope there’s an inexpensive way to upgrade all my existing movie purchases to 4K from 1080p. Like a one time price upgrade all your movies to 4K, or a small <$5 charge to upgrade each movie one at a time, or even better free upgrades on content that is available in 4K on launch date.

    1. Your really think there is a way to add 4X resolution? Why not 5K for the new iMac? Putting in more pixels to 1080P will just make a bigger file, not a better picture.

      1. I think by upgrade, he means redownloading 4K versions of the stuff he’s already bought.

        Movies shouldn’t be a problem. But TV shows in 4K will only be possible if the masters are in 4K or larger.

        But still. What’s the point? Whether or not the A8 chip can play them is irrelevant, they’re being downsampled on the fly to the screens resolution. So right now you’d just be wasting space.

        1. Wasting space?
          Only if video is raw. Without compression such as h.265.

          The comparison of HD to MP4 (h264) was rather impressive and still holds well.
          Now, we shall see 4K video compressed with h.265 and experience fabulous quality in around the same file size and saving that the prior format did.

          Hence, Bluray quality in the size of what HD files compressed with h264 gave.

          Small files with incredible high resolution.
          So I wouldn’t say its a waste of space at all, because when compressed – it shall be no bigger than the MP4s you are making on your iPhone now.

    2. Yes it can be streamed yet present hardware limits the process in which video is being “Airplay”ed.
      Yet more exciting; perhaps what we are seeing (exposed) is a hint to Apple TV or iTV offering 4K or 5K quality – hurray!

  2. As great as this sounds, most users would need an 80″ to 100″ screen to see the benefit.
    Plus, you think Netflix bogs down the Internet now? Imagine each movie being 4 times bigger in data size.

      1. Ok. I checked h265 is about 50% smaller than h264.
        So 4k movies will only be double the size of 1080. My point still stands, Netflix would swamp the entire Internet with movies that big.

      2. It’s more important that the A8 has the horse power to decode h.265 on the fly which I heard is true. This codec will mothball many computers, my i7 2011 MBP can’t play back 2k video without stuttering badly. IPhone 6 no problem man!

    1. 80 – 100″ screen?
      Well no. View this…
      [video src="" /]
      …on a good screen – it puts HD to shame. On an iMac 5K, all 27″ of it…its incredible.
      But then, even with a 26Mb connection I couldn’t stream it…but I did have time to hand grind some coffee for a mug of Kenyan AA before watching it…all 1 minute playing time :/

  3. I supposed this is ‘future proofing’. Damned impressive.

    But I have to spoil the party as usual and wonder what displays are being used that actually provide the viewer with resolution their eyes can actually see, beyond the ~300 DPI resolution at the correct viewing distance.

    It’s amusing, ironic, or something, that I used to chide the 720p fanatics who didn’t see the point in 1080p. I saw the point in 1080p and told them it would be a BFD. But I think we’re careening past that sweet spot for the home user with 4K. It’s typically going to be overkill with a hefty bleeding edge price tag. And yet, I have friends who swear they see a difference.

  4. You do see the difference with 4k. Just try it on a 70″ TV at the correct distance and you will see what I’m talking about. Also, why wouldn’t be great to have all your iTunes movies at 4k with a large 4k TV? I for one would welcome the idea.

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