A6 ▪ August 14

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Less than a month from now, Apple is expected to officially unveil its new A9 chip. This will be the ninth A-Series processor including the original A4, which powered the first iPad, iPhone 4, fourth-generation iPod touch, and second-generation Apple TV. It’s hard to overstate the importance of the A-series chips to Apple’s devices, as they’ve helped the company to achieve everything from major processing leaps to impressive power efficiency and — often taken for granted — guaranteed UI smoothness for every year’s newly-launched devices.

With the iPhone 6S just around the corner, we’ve started to receive tips purporting to reveal how much better the A9 will perform than the A8 processors found in the latest iPhones, iPad Air 2, and iPod touch. While we wouldn’t characterize the numbers we’ve seen as reliable, they led us to look back at the history of A-series chips, and consider what can reasonably be expected from the A9. Read on for our thoughts…

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A6 ▪ April 9, 2013

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According to Macotakara, new colors will be one of the more visible features of Apple’s next-generation iPhone models. According to a new report from the Japanese website, Apple’s iPhone 5 successor, already dubbed by some as the “iPhone 5S,” will come in three additional colors on top of the already existing black/slate and white/silver designs found on the iPhone 5.

It seems that it will have gossiped if the 5-color lineup of low-priced edition iPhone is carried out until now, but iPhone 5S may be 3 colors added to 2 colors of iPhone 5 1 color somehow. However, the informed sources did not tell about the kind of detailed color.

The site also claims that Apple’s already-rumored cheaper iPhone will come in five colors, but the report does not specify if this is five colors in addition to the black and white models or including the black and white options. Multiple analyst reports have previously claimed that Apple’s next iPhones will likely come in new colors.

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A6 ▪ October 12, 2012

A6 ▪ January 5, 2012

ADR Studio’s Antonio De Rosa, the designer behind many unofficial Apple concept products in the past, just published his latest design— the iPhone SJ. According to ADR, the concept would include a “Totally glass capacitive screen on a polycarbonate lightweight body” and a moniker inspired by Steve Jobs.

Other specifications imagined by De Rosa as part of the concept include a new 10-megapixel camera and an A6 dual core processor; although, those specifications are obviously just a wish list at this point. As you can see from the mockups, the concept has a much slimmer design and a slightly rounded edge from the back and front panels to the bezel. Otherwise, the concept borrows much of its design from the current iPhone 4 and 4S.

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A6 ▪ August 12, 2011

Digitimes previously reported that manufacturers have already begun preparing for production of the iPhone 5 and iPad 3, which would be unveiled in September and reach customers as early as October. Now, adding more weight to these claims, Macotakara is reporting that an iPhone 4S variant along with a new iPad will arrive in the same timeframe.

According to the rough translation, it appears sources have provided information on a possible iPhone 4S based on the current CDMA iPhone 4. The report doesn’t rule out an iPhone 5 saying it “can not be confirmed”. It also briefly suggests a new iPad will be released in October as well. Could it be possible Apple is planning on releasing an iPhone 4S as the rumored entry-level model in addition to an iPhone 5?

Of course the mention of a new iPad is less than likely. Apple appears to be quite a long way from releasing a refreshed model, especially if you are counting on them including those new 28-nanometer, TSMC-built A6 chips that just started trials. expand full story

Taiwan Economic News is reporting that local Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd (TSMC), the company slated to supply Apple with the A6 processor after a shift from Samsung, has begun trials of the new chip made with the company’s “newest 28-nanometer process and 3D stacking technologies”. However, dont expect to see the A6 in a new iteration of the iPad anytime soon, as the report suggests the processor wont be officially unveiled until Q2 of next year, at the earliest.

Included in the report:

TSMC has applied its newest 28-nanometer process and 3D stacking technologies to produce the next-generation processor A6, which is based on the ARM architecture and will undergo TSMC’s cutting-edge silicon interposer and bump on trace (BOT) methodologies. Industry insiders said that the manufacturing will help to pump considerable momentum into TSMC’s business growth starting next year, though the company has yet to comment on the deal for the moment.

This contradicts an earlier report thru Reuters which stated that test production had already begun in July.  Both reports agreed that the final A6 processors would be complete and ready for iPad 3 in early 2012.  EETimes had reported the move back in March which was said to involve Apple’s current A5 chip but that never materialized.

An Apple switch to TSMC would obviously be a huge blow to ‘frenemy’ Samsung who currently makes the iPad CPU, DRAM and supplies Flash storage as well.

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