9to5Mac’s sources continue to be the center of the iPhone 5 story these days, with new claims of what the iPhone 5 is bound to feature under the hood.
We continue to get more and more details from 9to5Mac regarding what is purported to be the details for the upcoming iPhone 5. Just as the tech community was beginning to digest the rumored photos of the iPhone 5′s chassis and rear plate — which appears to show a metal back, moved components, and longer display — now we are getting details of some of the chips that could power the new iPhone.
According to 9to5Mac‘s new article, they now have access to the beta version of iOS 6. But in the same breath, writer Seth Weinthraub also references a “source:”
“The processor is known internally at Apple as the “A5-***” (the last three characters were removed to protect our source). This will most likely not be the final name. However, it seems probable that the processor will continue carrying the “A5″ name and will not step up to the “A6″ nomenclature—but that is far from certain.”
It might just be shoddy writing on Seth’s part — I’m sure he was feverishly typing out this post, trying to get it inserted early into the day’s news cycle — but what starts out as a divination from iOS 6 beta turns out to be leaked info from an insider whose identity is so close to the manufacturing of the processor that numbers need to be redacted out. Unfortunately, the contradiction here is bothersome, and throws up a bit of a red flag. Also, this piece of the new rumor doesn’t tell us much in the end — will it be a variant of the A5, or the A6? 9to5Mac is certainly not definitive.
Let’s move on to the GPU:
“As for GPU, the new iPhone also features something entirely new. The GPU chip, which will continue to be part of the SoC, is called “SGX543RC*” (the asterisk is another sensitive number that could identify people working on the device). This GPU technically does not exist yet and we don’t have specs.”
Again, we have the redacted model number makes me wonder about iOS 6 beta again — does 9to5Mac have it in their possession, or does their source have it? The article also asserts 1GM of RAM, and Gobi chips, which we had actually heard rumored a few months back. Particularly interesting is the discussion of Qualcomm Baseband chips:
“It is also interesting that some prototypes of this device use the older Qualcomm Baseband chips. This unit uses the same type of Qualcomm baseband found in the cellular-enabled ‘new’ iPad 4G units. Our source indicated this might be because he/she does not need access to any new baseband that they might use.”
Qualcomm? You mean the same Qualcomm that has been in the news for the past two months, whose chip shortfalls have been the center of growing concern that it could lead to a delay on the release of the iPhone 5? Moreover, what is “this unit,” versus “some prototypes?” Is “this unit” the unit that “this source” is perusing, or does 9to5Mac have it in their possession? And is “this unit” in any way related to “that unit” — the parts depicted in their original article?
What did 9to5Mac know, and when did they know it?
All kidding aside, I’m confused. I don’t feel like we’ve really gotten a clear and coherent explanation about the relationship between the leaked photos out of China showing some of the exterior parts, this “this unit” and its accompanying source, and where iOS 6 beta really fits in. It isn’t to say that all the rumored parts cannot be true, but the storyline is a bit hard to follow — at least for me.
As a postscript, let’s talk release date. Unlike the previous 9to5Mac article, this new one doubles down on the October release date:
“We are told Apple is far along in its iOS 6 development, so an October new iPhone deadline should be relatively easy—barring any unforeseen chip, part shortages/labor outages, etc. So ‘easy’, in fact, that an earlier release is possible.”
Again — is this a hedge? 9to5Mac has been a hard core proponent of the October release — but all of the new purported iPhone 5 parts — together with the revelation that iOS 6 is far along in its development (it better be — the WWDC is less than two weeks away!) — makes it sound like even they are beginning to sweat being possibly wrong about October. When we’re talking about an “earlier release,” what are we looking at? September? August?
How about July?
I’m struck by one observation: if they are worried that the October release date prediction may be inaccurate due to the stuff they are seeing, then it makes me believe that they truly trust their sources and what they are seeing. That doesn’t make their sotires true — it just means that I don’t think we’re getting snowed. I only wish that the reporting made a little more sense.
By Michael Nace