Rumor: 5.5-inch iPhone 6 could feature larger, more powerful processor

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Date: Monday, August 4th, 2014, 11:19
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor


It may pay to go with the larger iPhone 6 size upon its release.

Per AppleInsider, at least one Wall Street analyst believes that the component makeup of the rumored 5.5-inch and 4.7-inch “iPhone 6” variants will diverge when it comes to their application processors and touch modules.

Cowen & Co. analyst Timothy Arcuri cited Asian supply chain checks when making the prediction in a Monday morning note to investors.

Arcuri’s sources signaled that the 5.5-inch iPhone will feature a more powerful application processor than its smaller sibling, though no details were given as to the disparity. Apple has made similar moves in the past; the A7 processor in the iPad Air is clocked at 1.39 gigahertz, for instance, compared to 1.29 gigahertz for the otherwise-identical part in the iPad mini with Retina display.

There is some indication that the difference could be fairly significant. Arcuri also said that the processor in the 5.5-inch model could ship with a larger die, hinting at a more wide-ranging architectural split.

A larger die might be a sign that the 5.5-inch model will feature additional on-die silicon, such as a larger array of graphics processing cores. Alternatively, it might suggest that Apple will make the two chips — believed to be the “A8” — in different fabrication plants using different processes.

At least one rumor previously suggested that Apple would split A8 manufacturing between Taiwanese semiconductor giant TSMC and South Korea-based Samsung, though further reports indicated that TSMC had instead won the full order.

In addition the processor differences, Arcuri stated that he believes that both iPhone 6 models could sport different touch modules. Taipei-based TPK currently supplies touch modules for the iPhone, though a change could be in the works as the company is said to have been chosen as the manufacturer of silver nanowire-based parts for the so-called “iWatch.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

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