By Jim Karpen on Mon, 03/10/2014
Recent rumors have suggested that the iPhone 6, expected in September or earlier, will have a new A8 chip designed by Apple and manufactured by chipmaker TSMC rather than Samsung, which makes the A7 used in the latest iOS devices. Then this last week a rumor passed along by Laptop and other websites said that the A8 will be a quad-core chip with quad core graphics. By comparison, the A7 has a dual-core CPU. Combine quad core with the 64-bit architecture Apple switched to in the A7 chip, and you get blazing speed.
Another interesting rumor out and about late last week came via DigiTimes, which reported that Foxconn is gearing up to manufacture 90 million iPhone 6 units this year. That's huge. In the last quarter of 2013 Apple sold 51 million iPhones. Analysts are estimating that iPhone shipments will be 23 percent higher this year than last. However, this figure of 90 million is also suggesting to some that we'll see the iPhone 6 sooner than September. Analysts question whether Apple could sell that many phones in a period of three to four months.
Clearly Apple is expecting the iPhone 6 to be a winner, if this rumor is true. And it certainly seems like it will be, if it comes with a 4.7-inch display, an A8 processor, and a sapphire crystal display. Interestingly, as fast as the A7 processor is, the post on the Laptop website gives the results of speed tests comparing the iPhone 5s to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Note 3. The 5s is faster than the S4 but not as fast as the Note 3, with its new Snapdragon 800 processor. But with an A8 quad-core chip and 64-bit architecture, no doubt the iPhone 6 will leave the others in the dust.
[Update: Reports Monday say that Samsung will indeed be making Apple's A8 chip.]