Apple Testing A5X Variant in iPhone Prototype Disguised in iPhone 4/4S Body?

9to5Mac claims that Apple is internally testing new iPhone hardware that is based on a variant of the A5X system-on-a-chip used in the new iPad, with the company disguising the hardware in existing iPhone 4/4S bodies in order to keep its potential plans for a new form factor a secret.

Much like they did last year, Apple has internally seeded a prototype next-generation iPhone with the iPhone 4 design. The actual next-generation iPhone is specifically said to not include the iPhone 4/4S design, but Apple is testing these new devices in older casings to throw off leaks. The purpose of the prototype iPhone that we heard about is to test a variation of the “A5X” chip in an iPhone.

With the A5X having been designed with quad-core graphics in order to drive the Retina display of the new iPad, the variant being used in the iPhone prototype will emphasize other performance gains coming from the S5L8945X application processor included in the package. Like the new iPad, the prototype iPhone 5 reportedly includes 1 GB of RAM, up from the 512 MB found in the iPhone 4S. According to the report, the test iPhone 5 hardware carries a code name of N96.

The report also cites evidence of an "iPod5,1" reference in iOS 5.1 code suggesting that Apple is working on a hardware update for the iPod touch. The device was left nearly untouched in last October's update, with the addition of white models being the primary physical change to the lineup as the iPod touch retained the A4 chip even as the iPhone 4S received an upgrade to the A5.

Top Rated Comments

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111 months ago



Two years of that clunky brick is enough.

The current iPhone is hardly "clunky".
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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111 months ago

Seriously though, if the next iPhone has an A5X, that's pretty disappointing.


Quad-core CPUs mean nothing. The entire system has to be fluid and pleasant to use, which most top-of-the-line Android phones still fail to achieve.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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111 months ago

I hope it's just a "disguise"


iPhones in disguise...

Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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111 months ago
I hope it's just a "disguise"
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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111 months ago

I was looking forward to the A6 SoC :(


if they would have called it A6, would you be happy?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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111 months ago

I'm not allowed to call you an idiot on this forum, but... I'm pretty sure you answered your own question.

I concur with the original poster, that the number of cores means nothing. At the same time though, that is not a desire to move backwards. The original iPhone was fluid, but as you say the software it runs is advancing so moving backwards would not keep the iPhone "fluid". My point and I believe the original posters point was that they don't sit around and go how do we make this thing with 100 cores? They say, does it work? Great, by the way, how many cores did it need?


So dual-core was a step forward that we don't want to step back from, but quad-core is unnecessary right now? How awfully convenient.

But, I never once argued that the next iPhone should have a quad core processor. Not once. I just said it is disappointing that it would be using essentially the same processor from 1 and 1/2 years ago. The Cortex A15, a dual-core chip, would be a BIG step up without having to move to quad core, for instance.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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