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"iPhone 5" Delayed Because of A5 Heat Issues?

An unsourced report from Sohu.com, a Chinese website, claims the iPhone 5 is delayed because Apple's A5 processor (currently in the iPad 2) is overheating in the iPhone 5 (via Google Translate):
Due to the emergence of Apple's current A5 processor overheating problem, so Apple will not soon be launching a new generation of the iPhone 5 smartphones, but Apple will launch this fall is still an iPhone 4, enhanced mobile products or the name iPhone 4S, this iPhone 4S is mainly based on the iPhone 4 on minor upgrades and no significant upgrade.
Apple is widely expected to introduce a new iPhone later this year, and regardless of whether it is dubbed the "iPhone 5" or some other name, there has been considerable disagreement over whether the device will be a major revamp or simply a minor upgrade (or both, by launching two new phones) to the existing iPhone 4. Some have suggested that the confusion stems from Apple testing the substantially-revamped iPhone 5 internals within iPhone 4-like enclosures for secrecy, so it is far from certain just what Apple is planning to introduce for its next iPhone update.

Hat tip to 9to5Mac.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 41 months ago
After antennagate comes heatgate.

"You're holding it too much."

"Using any mobile phone will result in some production of heat. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone..."
Rating: 29 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago
You mean to tell me that a processor that Apple exclusively controlled the development over won't fit into an enclosure that has also been exclusively developed by Apple, specifically one of two (or more) form factors designed specifically to house said processor? And on a manufacturing process that they've already manufactured on?

Sorry, don't buy it.
Rating: 19 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago

You mean to tell me that a processor that Apple exclusively controlled the development over won't fit into an enclosure that has also been exclusively developed by Apple, specifically one of two (or more) form factors designed specifically to house said processor? And on a manufacturing process that they've already manufactured on?

Sorry, don't buy it.


You realize that the enclosure people and the chip design people are different right? They've probably never even met.

It's bad metaphor time!
Have you ever overeaten? You know the size of your stomach, and yet you put more food on your plate than you should have. I don't buy it.
Rating: 17 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago


That's funny


We must define funny differently.
Rating: 13 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago
My iPad 2 isn't feeling terribly hot, and with a similarly thin form factor, why would it be a greater problem on an iPhone 5? I assume the A5 chip has identical size in both cases. Is it harder to provide good heat dissipation in the iPhone? Just trying to understand the issue here as a novice. :p
Rating: 12 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago

So, how exactly does one qualify "minor" vs "major" changes? Until now, we've heard fairly routinely that the next iPhone will get an 8MP camera, an A5 chip, and HSPA+ support. While that is quite a bit of horsepower, a lot of people still qualify that as "minor" upgrades and will only qualify it as a major upgrade if the case is changed.


Jesus, since when is a much faster CPU/GPU, twice as fast network speeds and almost 2x as better of a camera, a minor update for a phone!? What are we expecting, nuclear powered and doubles as a hover board?
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago
So, how exactly does one qualify "minor" vs "major" changes? Until now, we've heard fairly routinely that the next iPhone will get an 8MP camera, an A5 chip, and HSPA+ support. While that is quite a bit of horsepower, a lot of people still qualify that as "minor" upgrades and will only qualify it as a major upgrade if the case is changed.

I do think that if the A5 chip is dropped from the update, I'd start considering more of a minor update, but I do think we should being a little more purposeful about how we describe what we expect a "minor" vs "major" update to be.
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago

You realize that the enclosure people and the chip design people are different right? They've probably never even met.

It's bad metaphor time!
Have you ever overeaten? You know the size of your stomach, and yet you put more food on your plate than you should have. I don't buy it.


I'm talking about the phone enclosure.

If you're referring to the chip packaging, of course that's done elsewhere, but Apple would have been intimately aware of the process as it went along. To think that they would know what they were dealing with in terms of package size (which, BTW, a larger package gives the chip more area to dissipate heat) yet still made a blunder of this level when they had so many knobs of control over the whole process is hard to swallow.

Your analogy isn't relevant. They would have known precise quantities for each throughout the process.

So, how exactly does one qualify "minor" vs "major" changes? Until now, we've heard fairly routinely that the next iPhone will get an 8MP camera, an A5 chip, and HSPA+ support. While that is quite a bit of horsepower, a lot of people still qualify that as "minor" upgrades and will only qualify it as a major upgrade if the case is changed.

I do think that if the A5 chip is dropped from the update, I'd start considering more of a minor update, but I do think we should being a little more purposeful about how we describe what we expect a "minor" vs "major" update to be.


IMO, even if it is the A5 and nothing else, that's still major. greater than 2x the CPU power and many times over GPU power.

I've been thinking this all along. Think about it. The iPad 2's chip is a lot bigger than the one in the iPhone. They need to move to smaller die sizes. This will not only create a smaller chip but one that is more energy efficient.


Bigger die size means bigger package means more area to dissipate heat. Bigger die is only bad in that it eats area from the board for other things. Also, smaller chip does not imply more efficient. Efficiency is a rating of processing power vs. energy used. If you increase in size, you also increase in processing power, and not all circuitry is always actively being used. Unused portions are often power gated so they can "sleep" and sip power.

In my opinion, I can buy that the iPhone 5 has been delayed because of some difficulty in assembly, problems acquiring parts, etc. I do not buy that Apple made a blunder on heat dissipation when all of the variables were in their hands.

A later summer/early fall iPhone 5 launch also makes sense in the context that verizon iphone 4 and white iphone 4 launches have prolonged the iphone 4's life. This release also allows it to coincide with the ipod touch releases and additionally evens out the demand curve for A5 processors when you consider the iPad 2 boom and iphone 5 will be close to half a year apart as opposed to a mere 2 months.
Rating: 5 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago

I'm talking about the phone enclosure.

Yes, I got that. The Ph.D of Engineering holding microprocessor guys who designed the chip itself, and the Masters of Fine Arts or Arts degree holding Industrial Designers probably have never met.


They would have known precise quantities for each throughout the process.


Nope. For a long time now, chip companies have been developing newer and faster technologies, building them into chips, and checking the tolerances to see how fast it can get before it melts. They literally make a new chip and slowly turn up the mhz on it to see where it fails, then they back off a bit. In fact, when they make a "line" of chips, they make them all the same way and test each one to that failure point. The i7s that hit 3.6ghz without failing get set to 3.5 and shipped for more than the onces that failed at 3.2 and ship at 3.07. That's why overclocking works if you have a big heatsink.

In the case of the A5 chips, when they started working on them years ago (when the iPhone was 1.5x the thickness), they had 3 constraints:
a max size (imposed by the designers),
a max temperature (imposed by themselves and by the hardware itself),
and a min speed (imposed by the marketers, the software guys, and us, the users).

All three of those constraints have changed over the years, and they're a balancing act anyway. I.e. reducing size means reducing speed or increasing cooling, and someone has to choose.


As you may have noticed when you last picked up a MacBook Air, Apple demands that all those factors are pushed all the way to their limits. When they put the A5s in the iPad 2, they hit those limits, backed off a little, and shipped it. Now when they put it in the iPhone 5, either the temperature or the size constraint (or both) has been lowered, and they can't very well back down the speed.

If the story is true, we'll either see some fancy new cooling, some fancy new size, or some lower speed.
Rating: 5 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago



Oh no! This could be the misstep that allows RIM to retake the smartphone leadership crown!!!!!


Rating: 5 Votes

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