This Is How ARM Saved Apple From Going Bust in the 90s

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Apple has built the majority of its modern day fortunes upon the back of the low-voltage ARM chipset. Ever since the first iPhone, ARM chips have driven Apple’s biggest and best-selling products. Thanks to the success of iOS, which only runs on ARM, the futures of Apple and ARM are so intertwined that Cupertino now designs its own custom specced ARM chips.

Given how forward thinking Apple is, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to hear that the Mac maker once bought a 43% stake in ARM back in the early 1990s. What probably would surprise, you, though, is that Apple sold that stake at a loss… and that sale saved the company from total bankruptcy.

Apple’s A4 Chip Could Be The Minimum Requirement For Running iOS 5

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With iOS 4, Apple left the original iPhone and iPod Touch behind in the dust of iOS 3.1.3, and even the iPhone 3G could not avail itself of some of iOS 4’s most notable features, like multitasking. As long as you at least had an iPhone 3GS, though, you’d be fine.

Given how many problems the iPhone 3G hardware had running iOS 4.0, it should come as no surprise that Apple is hoping to consign that hardware to the dustbin when they debut iOS 5 at WWDC next month. What may be more surprising is that the iPhone 3GS will go into the dustbin too.

Apple A5 Dual-Cores Clocked Lower Than A4 in Early Benchmarks

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Early benchmark tests of Apple’s new dual-core A5 chip featured in the iPad 2 have revealed that each processing core is actually clocked at a slower speed than the previous A4 chip, which features in the original iPad, iPhone 4, and the latest iPod touch.

Tests performed by iOSnoops show that overall, each of the A5’s cores runs at least 10% slower than the single core featured in Apple’s A4 chip, running at around 890 MHz in comparison to the 1 GHz A4. The speed of the A5 fluctuates depending on the applications it’s running however, with its lowest speed clocked at 861 MHz and its highest at 894 MHz.

Previous-Gen Apple TVs Won’t Get New Model’s Software Features

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When Steve Jobs announced the new palm-sized AppleTV on Wednesday, replete with AirPlay-streaming functionality from your computer’s iTunes library, 720p high-def video and Netflix capability, many of us wondered if Cupertino would (or even be able) to extend the new functionality back down the line to the older, drive-based model.

Nope, says Ars Technica. An Apple spokesperson confirmed to them that there will be no software updates to bring the new AppleTV functionality to the last generation model.

To be honest, I wasn’t suspecting anything different. According to Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, even though the AppleTV doesn’t look like it is running iOS, it is… an assertion supported by the new AppleTV’s A4 CPU. The new software probably doesn’t even work on old AppleTVs, and rolling out a major software update for the obsolete model would essentially require coding the functionality from scratch.

Still, it’s disappointing. I, like many AppleTV owners, gave Apple my money for their “hobbyist” device, supporting and defending it for years even while Apple ignored it. Now that they are taking the device seriously and finally bringing the AppleTV brand up to spec, though, Apple’s quick to abandon us.

[via 9to5Mac]