Tag Archives: Apple Hardware

Apple’s A5 will continue to power iDevices into 2012-2013, exist alongside A6

Apple’s next generation of mobile iDevices will be powered principally by A5-class System-on-a-Chip (SoC) hardware, according to Rumors’ sources. The A6 will indeed be introduced next year, as has been long rumored, but may be exclusive to the family of next-generation AppleTV devices at first.

According to sources, the iPhone 5, iPod Touch 5 and iPad 3 will all be powered by a series of chips that, regardless of how they will be marketed by Apple, will be essentially unchanged from the A5 except for clock speed differences and a possible switch of suppliers (thusly, also possibly a switch in manufacturing processes but with little functional effect). Unless the iPad is split into two or more tiers as has been considered for the entire iOS device family more than once in the past and is expected to happen with the AppleTV’s next generation, the A6 is expected to be exclusive in its initial production run to the new AppleTV family. Read more

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Next-gen iDevices to feature shatter-resistant OLED displays

The next-generation iPhone and iPod Touch will be based on a unique type of OLED display, according to sources, which is far more shatter-resistant than the current “gorilla glass” and LCD design used in the iPhone 4/4S and previous generations.

One of the chief problems with the iPhone and iPod Touch to date has been its easily damaged glass touch screen, and in the case of the iPhone 4/4S, the glass back panel. The iPhone 5 and its corresponding iPod Touch cousin will, according to a report just in from sources familiar with Apple’s 2012 Hardware Roadmap, replace the “square” design of the iPhone 4 and 4S with a solid frame — in some prototypes, this is metal (usually aluminum, though Titanium has been explored due to its superior strength in extremely thin configurations) and in others, a thermoplastic carbon fiber material — and a new type of capacitative touchscreen which incorporates a much tougher, nearly shatterproof outer surface material with an organic LED (OLED) display that is significantly larger than today’s “retina” TFT LCD. Read more

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October 20th Apple Event preview

Steve Jobs will once again take to the stage tomorrow, Wednesday October 20th at the “Town Hall” on Apple’s Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, California to unveil a new round of products and technology previews with his infamous headline-grabbing presentation style. What will be announced? Grapevine consensus appears to have a firm grasp of the big picture, but as to the details….

With a few notable exceptions (the small number of people working on certain projects within Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion,” internal code name ‘Barolo,’ force us to sit on details of those projects until after the Event when even if those projects aren’t mentioned during the Event, they will be known to a wider group within Infinite Loop and leaks can no longer be tied so easily to our sources), what we’ve been told by some of our oldest and most reliable contacts in Cupertino comports very closely with the grapevine’s consensus of what to expect tomorrow:

*Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” as hinted by Apple’s logo for the Event:

Apple's Back to the Mac October 20th Apple Event logo

….Lion is a collection of long-standing projects, many of them held back from the Leopard and Snow Leopard development cycles because they were too ambitious and too out of sync with Apple’s priorities at the time to make the cut for those releases. Read more

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WWDC 2010 Preview

Today, Apple will present several new products to its third party developer community…and through the tremendous press scrunity — not to mention what Steve Jobs recently called (an undesirable) “nation of bloggers” (ahem) — by extension the larger world of its users, enthusiasts and curious potential ‘switchers.’

Some of them will be software, some will be hardware, but most if not all will likely manage to attract their own little cyclonic orbits of controversy.

Here are some of the grapevine’s expectations; stay with us over the week ahead for post-event analysis and fresh dirt on what’s next from Infinite Loop. Read more

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Apple buys second ARM chip design firm, Intrinsity

Readers who have their ears to the grapevine will remember the excitement over Apple’s acquisition two years ago of PA Semi, which led directly to the production of its first in-house ARM CPU, the 1GHz A4 which is at the heart of every iPad.

Now, indications are that Apple has made a second acquisition to bolster its in-house ARM SoC development efforts: Intrinsity, formerly a close partner of major ARM manufacturer Samsung. What does this mean for the future of Apple’s iDevice hardware?

Among many other specialties in ARM SoC design, Intrinsity is well known for its engineering talents in the area of power efficiency optimization. Particularly for ultra-compact iDevices, power efficiency doesn’t just mean long battery life….it means that faster, more powerful ARM chips with higher clock speeds can be packed into the same package. Read more

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Roadmap 2010: Macbook Pro

UPDATE 4/3/10 2:30PM Eastern: Added mention of IPS display panels to specs page.

For about 3 months now, Intel’s new “Arrandale” mobile Core i3/i5/i7 processors have been on the market — offered by many of the major PC makers in their latest laptops — but have not yet been integrated into Apple’s products. These CPUs are part of Intel’s “Nehalem” family, a major generational leap from previous Core 2 technology. Nehalem-class chips have been at the heart of the Mac Pro and quad-core iMacs for some time, and offer numerous advantages.

Arrandale, though only a two-core design versus the quads in current Core i5/i7 desktops, is ahead of those desktop chips in a few areas. Notably, it is one of Intel’s first Nehalem chips built on a 32-nanometer manufacturing process; each step in shrinking silicon chip manufacturing processes brings about greater energy efficiency, better price/performance, and allows more transistors to be packed onto a smaller chip footprint. Read more

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Roadmap 2010: Mac Pro

Although supplies of some components Apple wants to use in the 2010 Mac Pro may cause further delays that cannot yet be precisely anticipated even by senior executives at Infinite Loop itself, a considerable leap forward for Cupertino’s high-end workstation is widely anticipated in the next few weeks.

As is typical among seasoned rumor-mongers, we are hesitant to try to predict in anything but general terms when to expect this update; Apple has extremely high standards for predictable supplies of components (brought about by snafus like the major delay in availability of PowerPC G4 processors when they were first introduced), and is quite willing to push back its own planned announcement dates if there is the slightest question of availability or quality-control problems. Read more

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Major updates to Mac Pro and Macbook/Air/Pro lineups imminent

As Rumors has previously reported, a new generation of 32-nanometer Intel chips (Arrandale for mobile, Gulftown/Westmere-EP on the desktop) are ready for Apple to build several new Macs around. Several factors have kept Apple from being the first to adopt these chips, but sources now report that the time for their announcement is approaching.

Some widely published reports about the 2010 Mac Pro were based on information deliberately falsified by a single source, but other than the specific date given, much of the information that has been reported is essentially accurate: a new lineup of Mac Pros with a high-end 12-core (dual sockets, 6 physical/12 logical cores per chip) model have been under development in Cupertino for some time and are now close to being ready to ship. Read more

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January 27th Apple Event Preview Part 1: The Tablet

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you are probably well aware that tomorrow, Wednesday January 27th, Apple is hosting one of its infamous “Events” and the centerpiece will be a tablet-like iDevice which was, coincidentally, just “confirmed” by the CEO of publisher McGraw-Hill on CNBC minutes before this post was sent to the presses.

The big questions are, what will it be like? What sort of tech specs will be under the hood? Based on years of following the Tablet’s development through our sources in Cupertino and backed up by grapevine consensus, here’s what we’re expecting at the heart of tomorrow’s announcements.

First, the bullet point tech specs:

  • 10-inch touchscreen display with one of the highest resolutions ever produced, and almost certainly in a 16:9 aspect ratio.
Read more
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Will the ‘iTablet’ run iPhone OS or Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard?

As “iTablet” (Macbook Touch? iPhone Cinema?) rumors have reached a fever pitch in recent days thanks to several disclosures and leaks by third parties privy to late-stage prototypes of the device, speculation has mounted as to which variant of OS X it will run — will it be an iPhone (ARM CPU, iPhone OS) or a Mac (Intel processor, OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard)?

The most difficult part of answering this question, for even the most well-informed and -connected of insiders, is that Apple has explored both possibilities and has been extensively revamping countless elements of the Snow Leopard interface to make multi-touch input more practical. One way or another, Macs will eventually adopt multi-touch displays; it’s just a matter of when and what models, at what price ranges. Read more

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Reader Q&A: What are Apple prototypes like?

From time to time, we select a few reader questions to answer as best we can, and today’s comes from Kyle.

Kyle: On your site, you often mention prototypes of Apple devices. I’m kind of curious how Apple works their prototype process. What do the prototype devices look like in the semi-finished state? Do they look like pieces of hardware slapped together by a sloppy DIYer or like the polished devices that we know Apple is famous for?

First, thanks to Kyle for writing in and asking your question. We’re always happy to part the veils of the rumor-mongering process when we can, and give our readers further insight into what it’s like to have unique access & insight into the goings-on at Infinite Loop. Read more

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What’s next for iPhone & other iDevices?

There are many new features and pieces of core hardware that we expect to see in future iDevices — some of which (iPod Touch S) could be announced in a matter of weeks, others (iTablet, higher screen resolutions, 802.11N Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, etc) which we think may reach the market early next year and the truly next-generation stuff (4G cellular network chips, dual core ARM Cortex 9 processors, even more powerful GPUs, 5-megapixel camera with 1080P HD video and so on) that almost certainly won’t be announced until mid-2010.

And that’s just a short list.

But even Apple itself doesn’t necessarily know for certain whether suppliers will hit road-map targets for the components/chipsets that will bring these capabilities to the iDevice platform….nor whether the internally-developed technologies being engineered at Infinite Loop will hit their own. Read more

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LIVE Coverage of the WWDC 2009 Keynote

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Last Updated: 3:15 EDT (newest updates at the bottom)Live Coverage is now complete. This is an archive of our postings as of 3:15 PM; more can be found in other posts here on Rumors or by following us on Twitter.

From our Twitter feed: Several readers at the Moscone Center have noted that banners there show the iCal logo w/ the date June 19th…a release date?

Also noted by many attendees on the banners is a new Quicktime X logo. Read more

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WWDC Preview Part 3: iPod Touch, Other iDevices, One More Thing?

As Rumors has previously reported, we expect an entirely new family of iDevices to be shipping by the end of the summer — and although expectations for an announcement of new 2009 iPhones are running high today, the actual shipping date of those new phones is most likely at least a few (3-4?) weeks in the future.

We also believe that at least one other group of iDevices, most probably and expanded/upgraded iPod Touch lineup, will be announced today….with at least some models paralleling the feature set of the high-end 2009 iPhone, including:

*One proposed marketing name for the new iDevices was “iPhone/iPod Touch X2,” denoting the “twice as fast, twice as much, twice the features” advancements over 2007/2008 models….

*Faster CPU (~600MHz ARM Cortex A8/similar, or perhaps a slight upgrade to the existing 412MHz ARM11 in the 500-600MHz range) competitive with the Palm Pre’s 620MHz Cortex A8 chip….and faster GPU (PowerVR multi-core, 5X+ performance gain over today’s iDevices) which supports Anti-Aliasing/Anisotropic Filtering, greatly improving visual quality at the same display resolution.

Read more
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WWDC 2009 Preview Part 2: iPhone OS 3.0 & Snow Leopard

In the case of iPhone OS 3.0, we already have a fairly good idea of its feature set, performance, and reliability from the series of developer betas that have been released over the past several months. Although Apple has not yet made an official statement as to its final release date, there has been none of the hedging that we’ve seen with Snow Leopard; we wouldn’t be surprised to discover that some type of delay, or a “Final Beta” similar to Snow Leopard’s, will be announced today….but the most likely outcome is a release in the near term if not actually today.

Obviously, we’re very excited about that and we know all of you are as well. If we’re forced to wait for one more round of debugging to be carried out and for developers to test their apps against a set of new features, we’ll live…but many things about the dev process thus far, and the state of the mobile operating system itself, suggest that a release is imminent without significant further delay. Read more

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