Apple’s newly announced iPhone 5 brings a significant upgrade in processing power. In fact, the next generation phone comes equipped with an all new A6 chip, superior even to the A5 chip found in the latest iPad.
According to Apple, the A6 chip will provide twice the CPU power and twice the graphics performance, all while consuming less energy.
The A6 chip features smaller transistors, resulting in a 22 percent reduction in size. That smaller size makes it more energy efficient, while allowing it to deliver significantly increased performance.
Tim Cook says that the A6 chip will mean that Pages loads 2.1 times faster than before, while Keynote documents will open 1.7 times faster. It will lead, he says, to performance increases across the board.
Since the announcement is so new and there are few iPhone 5s out in the wild, there’s no actual information on cores, clock speeds, or manufacturing information of the A6.
We did, however, see a demonstration of Real Racing 3 on the iPhone, which was impressive, and proved that the newest phone from Apple is capable of supporting (current) console quality graphics.
The upgrade to such a significant processor shows that Apple is committed to delivering a quality gaming experience – a gaming experience that will soon rival traditional methods of gaming, including playing games on the PC and on consoles.
What does this mean for developers and consumers in general?
We’re going to see a range of impressive new iPhone games in the next few months, which is fantastic for those of us who plan on upgrading and those of us who also have Apple’s newest iPad. Unfortunately, support for older devices like the original iPad and the iPhone 3GS will likely dwindle even further.
Some games, like the iPad-only Bastion, are already pushing the limits of what iDevices can do. We didn’t see Bastion on the iPhone, but an iPhone version of the game might be possible with the newest release.
In addition to games that will push the limits of what’s possible, apps in general will run faster. I’m sure those of you with an iPhone 4 and older have noticed a significant slowing of the devices in recent months, due to developers creating apps for the more robust processor of the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 will handle old apps with ease, and new apps will be able to deliver even more impressive features and content.
We’ll likely see the same upgraded processor in the iPad next year, or possibly an even more robust chip as gaming on the iPhone and the iPad become more and more popular. I think the A6 makes one thing clear – Apple recognizes its mobile offerings as gaming devices.
With Retina displays, robust processors, and the new 1080p Apple TV, Apple is edging closer and closer to making serious iPad and iPhone gaming on the television a reality. At this point, all Apple needs to do is release a handheld controller to seriously compete in the gaming market.