Apple A8 (mockup 001)

Disclaimer: an analyst says stuff about Apple that may or may not come true. That being said, Cowen & Co. analyst Timothy Arcuri thinks he got it all figured out, writing that a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 would include a faster A8 processor than its 4.7-inch counterpart. Not only that, but a variant of the A8 chip inside Apple’s phablet-class device would be physically bigger, indicating perhaps that the bigger handset might feature additional graphics cores compared to its 4.7-inch counterpart.

In addition, the Wall Street analyst thinks that the device will pack in a different touch module than the 4.7-inch model…

AppleInsider obtained a copy of Arcuri’s note to clients, here’s the juicy bit:

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.

Arcuri made this claim based on his supply chain checks.

He also said an A8 variant inside the 5.5-inch iPhone 5 has a larger die, leading AppleInsider to correctly speculate that the bigger handset might make use of a larger array of graphics processing cores.

This has happened before.

Although the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display run literally the same A7 processor, the devil is in details – both the iPhone 5s and the Retina iPad mini’s A7 is underclocked versus the iPad Air.

Specifically, the engine inside the iPhone 5s and the Retina iPad mini is clocked at 1.3GHz while the iPad Air’s A7 is clocked at 1.4 GHz.

As seen below, Geekbench tests show the iPad mini with Retina Display scoring a 1390 in single-core tests versus the iPad Air’s score of a 1466, and 2512 in multicore tests versus 2658 for the iPad Air.

iPad mini 2 (Retina, Geekbench 001)

The 0.1GHz difference in clock speed isn’t something to write home about nor does it make any noticeable difference in terms of real-life use, so what’s going on here?

Easy, the bigger iPhone would need additional oomph and faster graphics to power its bigger screen which will most likely sport more pixels than the 4.7-inch model. Though the slightly more powerful processor with beefier graphics will require more power, keep in mind that the bigger iPhone will also have a larger battery.


AppleInsider thinks this might also mean that Apple will fab the two A8 chips in different plants using different processes, but I’m not buying it – there may be no immediate benefits to splitting the manufacture of the two chips.

Besides, using two different processes and different plants to build the chips increases the complexity and raises the possibility of unforeseen errors.

Last but not least, Arcuri believes that both iPhone 6 models “could sport different touch modules”. The iPhone’s touch modules are currently being supplied by Taipei-based TPK, which the rumor-mill recently identified as the manufacturer of silver nanowire-based parts for the rumored iWatch.

  • Anmol Malhotra

    He also said an A8 variant inside the 5.5-inch iPhone 5 has a larger die, leading AppleInsider to correctly speculate that the bigger handset might make use of a larger array of graphics processing cores.

    TYPO : 5.5-inch iPhone 6*

    • Capirexz

      Please apple, don’t force me to buy 5.5″ iphone 6 .

  • Well I don’t see why not, apple doesn’t use the full processors potential. Just about every device is under clocked so giving the bigger device more access sounds about right for them to do.

  • Anmol Malhotra

    If this is true , a lot of work is coming for developers. And expect Whatsapp will optimize its app for 5.5 and 4.7 when iOS 9 will release. 😀 Because they are damnnnnnn slow.

    • Rami Tabaa

      hahahahahahahaha sooo true!

    • :/

      Still waiting for Whatsapp voice call which they said would be released in the second quarter of this year….it’s now August and whatsapp have gone completely silent on the matter.

      • Anmol Malhotra

        Yeah right.. I personally think they have delayed their time table.. With whatsapp crashing tooo many times on iOS 8. Considering the number of crashes they will have to release iOS 8 optimized ver as soon as iOS 8 gets to public and with iOS8 i think they will release Voice call with new ver. maybe 3.0

    • JulianZH

      Use wechat haha

  • Bjørn

    As long as the 4.7″ version doesn’t become a “cheap” version of the iPhone 6 with a lot less features than the 5.5″ I’m happy.
    Not everyone want to go around the town with a 5.5″ surfboard as a Phone.
    For me 4.7″ is very close, if not a little over my limit.
    I’m definitely going for the 4.7″. If I need a bigger screen, I’ll use my iPad Air.

  • R4

    “Analyst” I’m pretty sure everyone here expected those stuff.

    • Apparently to become an analyst you only need to know common sense these days.

      • Jason Duong

        Here, let me have a go.

        ‘Apple will release new products by 2014.’

        How’d I go?

      • R4

        Analyst: Apple will release new products.

        An analyst has revealed that apple will revease new products by 2014.

        Can I work for iDownloadblog now?

  • Mohammed

    I don’t see them building two diffrent chips
    They will probably both run the same processor with the bigger one having a higher clock speed .
    That if there is a 5.5″ model to begin with.
    Plus the article notes that the bigger one will have more pixels,didn’t the rumors point that the 4.7″ model will pack 416ppi against just 364 pip for the 5.5″ model?

  • Brian 

    What does it take for me to become one of these “analyst” that iDB is always reporting about? Other than throwing around the same rumors and “predicting” a few of my own?

  • n0ahcruz3

    I will definately get 5.5 iphone. If want a larger screen to watch a movie shows etc. Then i’ll go with a laptop or tv. I dont want to carry an ipad and a phone.

  • Vatsal Manot

    “… to have faster A8 processor …”

    I shall leave the reader of this comment to understand the ridiculousness of this phrase.

  • Dan

    I don’t believe that one phone will be more powerful than the other, I doubt that Apple wants to alienate those who want a smaller phone.

  • babiloe

    more powerful processor needs bigger battery, also bigger resolution.

  • Benjamin J Schwartz

    I’m calling BS on this rumor. This makes no sense. Whatsoever. The iPad Mini and Air both pack roughly 4 times more pixels than the iPhone 5S, yet all use an identical A7 SoC with only minimal core clock variations. Why then would a whole new graphic core be needed for a device that no matter how high resolution