When Apple introduced the new iPad earlier this year, it didn’t just discontinue the iPad 2; it dropped its price and sent it out to do battle with cheaper, Android-powered tablets from the likes of Amazon. But that’s not the only change the Cupertino company made to the device.
Although there’s no mention of it, if you buy a brand new iPad today, it will pack a new A5 processor under the hood that’s a little different to earlier A5 chips, and delivers much better battery life.
The latest A5 processor is built using a new 32-nanometer manufacturing process — as opposed to the 45-nanometer process used for older A5 chips — that not only means it’s more cost effective, but also more energy efficient. And the change is noticeable, too.
Tests by AnandTech show the latest iPad 2 units have up to 16% more battery life than earlier models, which provides up to 7.9 hours of high-performance 3D gaming as opposed to just 6.12 hours. It’s great news if you just bought a cheap iPad 2 recently, but it has some great implications for the iPhone, too.
By making its processors more energy efficient, Apple has freed up a little battery life that could go towards powering other components… such as an LTE chip. The iPhone is yet to get LTE because existing chips are considered to be too greedy on power, but the new manufacturing process could mean that Apple could add LTE to the next iPhone while maintaing the same level of battery life we already expect from the handset.
Of course, with LTE now in the iPad, this is a feature we’ve come to expect from the next iPhone anyway. This just strengthens the belief that we’ll finally see an iPhone with LTE capabilities.