If you’re wondering roughly how powerful the Apple Watch’s S1 SoC processor is compared to other ARM chips, the answer appears to be that it’s roughly equivalent to an A5 chip, as seen on the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, first iPad mini, and the Apple TV, at least as far as graphics chutzpah is concerned.
Yesterday, Apple unveiled the iPad mini 3, a slightly updated version of the second-gen iPad mini with Retina display. But even though it’s two generations old at this point, Apple still sells the original iPad mini for $249. That makes it the cheapest iPad yet, albeit for good reason: It packs the same A5 chip and other silicon guts that the iPad 2 did way back in March 2011.
That might actually seem like a good deal for consumers, but it’s turning out to be a nightmare for developers who will likely have to support the iPad mini until 2017.
Following the launch of its new cheaper iPod touch this morning, Apple has confirmed that it has now sold more than 100 million units of the iPod touch since its introduction back in 2007. That makes it one of the Cupertino company’s most popular products to date.
Apple has this morning added a new iPod touch to its online store that does away with the rear-facing iSight camera in an effort to be cheaper. The device also has just 16GB of internal storage — half that of the regular iPod touch — but it is $70 cheaper at $229.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a note to investors in which he says the second-generation iPad mini with Retina display won’t enter mass production until October due to yield issues with the new high-resolution display. If true, the problem could make a fall launch for the device very unlikely.
The Apple TV, Cupertino’s “hobby” of a set-top box, is often used to test out new fabrication process for the A-series chips that go into iPhones, iPod touches and iPads. The last Apple TV ran a 32nm A5 processor built by Samsung with a single-core disabled, which eventually ended up (in a dual-core capacity) in the iPad mini.
Apple has reportedly further distanced itself from rival Samsung by switching its suppliers for iPad and MacBook batteries. The Cupertino company has been seemingly working to avoid Samsung’s components since the companies became embroiled in various legal battles all over the world.
Samsung has dealt Apple a nasty blow by increasing the price of its mobile processors — the ones built into every iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch — by 20%. According to a person familiar with negotiations between the two companies, Apple initially disapproved the price hike, but was forced to accept it with no replacement supplier available.
The iPad mini is Apple’s answer to smaller Android tablets from the likes of Amazon and Google. But there’s a good reason why it doesn’t come with the same $200 price tag. A teardown has revealed that the new iOS device costs at least $188 to build, and that price rises when you add bigger storage options and 4G connectivity.