Weekly Roundup = iPhone 5
Don Scansen posted on September 25, 2012 |

Photo Credit: Katie Scansen

Like just about everyone else - technophile or not - I found it hard to see anything through the smoke clouds left behind by the fireworks of Apple's launch of the iPhone 5. Which is nice because with traveling and other things in my life, I can certainly appreciate an easy review of the week's news.

A few Apple-aproved bloggers and media types received review units earlier, but last Friday marked the first time ordinary people could get their hands on the new iPhone. At least ordinaries who were either a) smart and quick enough to pre-order the phone early enough, or b) willing to stand in line for a few hours at a bricks-and-mortar retail outlet. I chose the latter, and believe me, there was nothing quick about it.

The hardware release was the first act of Friday's story. The second was the product teardown. But depending on your time zone, this happened first. The iFixit people are not willing come second to anyone, so they went their crew to Australia and the other side of the International Date Line to be first in the worldwide line. Teardown pictures appeared on the iFixit web site on Thursday evening.

You might say the final scenes played out later on Friday afternoon after UBM TechInsights published delayered images revealing basic features of the A6 processor die architecture. The news was picked up by many outlets not least of which was AnandTech where Anand Lal Shimpi had previously stated that the new A6 would use neither four conventional ARM A9 cores nor two of the new A15 cores but rather an Apple custom design. UBM's affirmation of his thesis was doubtless welcomed.

The widespread pick-up of the TechInsights die photos suggest that the A6 story fire burned bright but will not last, so it appeared that the story has little left to give. I think not. There is more to discover given time to analyze the chip design in detail. A lot can be revealed by looking at the history of the designs that can be found for the A4 and A5 versions. For some interesting thoughts on the history of the Apple IC design teams, I liked Dean Takahashi's piece about Apple flipping off Samsung. There are still warm embers in the wider media story for now despite the lack of any thoughtful analysis of the A6 architecture and its place in Apple's semiconductor strategy. Stay tuned.

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