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Old Jul 14, 2011, 01:56 PM   #1
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"iPhone 5" Delayed Because of A5 Heat Issues?






An unsourced report from Sohu.com, a Chinese website, claims the iPhone 5 is delayed because Apple's A5 processor (currently in the iPad 2) is overheating in the iPhone 5 (via Google Translate):
Quote:
Due to the emergence of Apple's current A5 processor overheating problem, so Apple will not soon be launching a new generation of the iPhone 5 smartphones, but Apple will launch this fall is still an iPhone 4, enhanced mobile products or the name iPhone 4S, this iPhone 4S is mainly based on the iPhone 4 on minor upgrades and no significant upgrade.
Apple is widely expected to introduce a new iPhone later this year, and regardless of whether it is dubbed the "iPhone 5" or some other name, there has been considerable disagreement over whether the device will be a major revamp or simply a minor upgrade (or both, by launching two new phones) to the existing iPhone 4. Some have suggested that the confusion stems from Apple testing the substantially-revamped iPhone 5 internals within iPhone 4-like enclosures for secrecy, so it is far from certain just what Apple is planning to introduce for its next iPhone update.

Hat tip to 9to5Mac.

Article Link: "iPhone 5" Delayed Because of A5 Heat Issues?
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 01:57 PM   #2
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I've been thinking this all along. Think about it. The iPad 2's chip is a lot bigger than the one in the iPhone. They need to move to smaller die sizes. This will not only create a smaller chip but one that is more energy efficient.

This could give slightly more credence to the idea of an iPhone 5/ iPhone 4S/lite or whatever. Two models, one with a larger screen. Perhaps the slightly larger enclosure would make room for the chip and give it more breathing room as far as heat dissipation?
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:00 PM   #3
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My iPad 2 isn't feeling terribly hot, and with a similarly thin form factor, why would it be a greater problem on an iPhone 5? I assume the A5 chip has identical size in both cases. Is it harder to provide good heat dissipation in the iPhone? Just trying to understand the issue here as a novice.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:00 PM   #4
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You mean to tell me that a processor that Apple exclusively controlled the development over won't fit into an enclosure that has also been exclusively developed by Apple, specifically one of two (or more) form factors designed specifically to house said processor? And on a manufacturing process that they've already manufactured on?

Sorry, don't buy it.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:01 PM   #5
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I hope that they'll still be able to throw in a dual core processor into the iPhone, provided they fix the heat issue. The speeds would be insane.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:01 PM   #6
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This sounds like Power book G5 all over again :P

Quote:
I've been thinking this all along. Think about it. The iPad 2's chip is a lot bigger than the one in the iPhone. They need to move to smaller die sizes. This will not only create a smaller chip but one that is more energy efficient.
Thats what I was thinking too.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:02 PM   #7
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After antennagate comes heatgate.

"You're holding it too much."

"Using any mobile phone will result in some production of heat. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone..."
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrmjenkins View Post
You mean to tell me that a processor that Apple exclusively controlled the development over won't fit into an enclosure that has also been exclusively developed by Apple, specifically one of two (or more) form factors designed specifically to house said processor? And on a manufacturing process that they've already manufactured on?

Sorry, don't buy it.
You realize that the enclosure people and the chip design people are different right? They've probably never even met.

It's bad metaphor time!
Have you ever overeaten? You know the size of your stomach, and yet you put more food on your plate than you should have. I don't buy it.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:04 PM   #9
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Maybe they'll build a fan into it.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autrefois
After antennagate comes heatgate.

"You're holding it too much."

"Using any mobile phone will result in some production of heat. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone..."
That's funny
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:05 PM   #11
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So, how exactly does one qualify "minor" vs "major" changes? Until now, we've heard fairly routinely that the next iPhone will get an 8MP camera, an A5 chip, and HSPA+ support. While that is quite a bit of horsepower, a lot of people still qualify that as "minor" upgrades and will only qualify it as a major upgrade if the case is changed.

I do think that if the A5 chip is dropped from the update, I'd start considering more of a minor update, but I do think we should being a little more purposeful about how we describe what we expect a "minor" vs "major" update to be.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:09 PM   #12
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Sounds to me like somebody is toying with the "analysts"
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaos86 View Post
You realize that the enclosure people and the chip design people are different right? They've probably never even met.

It's bad metaphor time!
Have you ever overeaten? You know the size of your stomach, and yet you put more food on your plate than you should have. I don't buy it.
I'm talking about the phone enclosure.

If you're referring to the chip packaging, of course that's done elsewhere, but Apple would have been intimately aware of the process as it went along. To think that they would know what they were dealing with in terms of package size (which, BTW, a larger package gives the chip more area to dissipate heat) yet still made a blunder of this level when they had so many knobs of control over the whole process is hard to swallow.

Your analogy isn't relevant. They would have known precise quantities for each throughout the process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by longofest View Post
So, how exactly does one qualify "minor" vs "major" changes? Until now, we've heard fairly routinely that the next iPhone will get an 8MP camera, an A5 chip, and HSPA+ support. While that is quite a bit of horsepower, a lot of people still qualify that as "minor" upgrades and will only qualify it as a major upgrade if the case is changed.

I do think that if the A5 chip is dropped from the update, I'd start considering more of a minor update, but I do think we should being a little more purposeful about how we describe what we expect a "minor" vs "major" update to be.
IMO, even if it is the A5 and nothing else, that's still major. greater than 2x the CPU power and many times over GPU power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macduke View Post
I've been thinking this all along. Think about it. The iPad 2's chip is a lot bigger than the one in the iPhone. They need to move to smaller die sizes. This will not only create a smaller chip but one that is more energy efficient.
Bigger die size means bigger package means more area to dissipate heat. Bigger die is only bad in that it eats area from the board for other things. Also, smaller chip does not imply more efficient. Efficiency is a rating of processing power vs. energy used. If you increase in size, you also increase in processing power, and not all circuitry is always actively being used. Unused portions are often power gated so they can "sleep" and sip power.

In my opinion, I can buy that the iPhone 5 has been delayed because of some difficulty in assembly, problems acquiring parts, etc. I do not buy that Apple made a blunder on heat dissipation when all of the variables were in their hands.

A later summer/early fall iPhone 5 launch also makes sense in the context that verizon iphone 4 and white iphone 4 launches have prolonged the iphone 4's life. This release also allows it to coincide with the ipod touch releases and additionally evens out the demand curve for A5 processors when you consider the iPad 2 boom and iphone 5 will be close to half a year apart as opposed to a mere 2 months.
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Last edited by chrmjenkins; Jul 14, 2011 at 02:22 PM.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saving107 View Post
That's funny
We must define funny differently.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:23 PM   #15
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Apple is all about flash and cool. No way do they delay the release of their most popular product without a huge upgrade. It'd be a major "What the hell ..." moment for average consumers, and Steve Jobs would not let that happen. He is, after all, a computer guy with an excellent mind for PR.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:29 PM   #16
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrmjenkins View Post
I'm talking about the phone enclosure.
Yes, I got that. The Ph.D of Engineering holding microprocessor guys who designed the chip itself, and the Masters of Fine Arts or Arts degree holding Industrial Designers probably have never met.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chrmjenkins View Post
They would have known precise quantities for each throughout the process.
Nope. For a long time now, chip companies have been developing newer and faster technologies, building them into chips, and checking the tolerances to see how fast it can get before it melts. They literally make a new chip and slowly turn up the mhz on it to see where it fails, then they back off a bit. In fact, when they make a "line" of chips, they make them all the same way and test each one to that failure point. The i7s that hit 3.6ghz without failing get set to 3.5 and shipped for more than the onces that failed at 3.2 and ship at 3.07. That's why overclocking works if you have a big heatsink.

In the case of the A5 chips, when they started working on them years ago (when the iPhone was 1.5x the thickness), they had 3 constraints:
a max size (imposed by the designers),
a max temperature (imposed by themselves and by the hardware itself),
and a min speed (imposed by the marketers, the software guys, and us, the users).

All three of those constraints have changed over the years, and they're a balancing act anyway. I.e. reducing size means reducing speed or increasing cooling, and someone has to choose.


As you may have noticed when you last picked up a MacBook Air, Apple demands that all those factors are pushed all the way to their limits. When they put the A5s in the iPad 2, they hit those limits, backed off a little, and shipped it. Now when they put it in the iPhone 5, either the temperature or the size constraint (or both) has been lowered, and they can't very well back down the speed.

If the story is true, we'll either see some fancy new cooling, some fancy new size, or some lower speed.

Last edited by chaos86; Jul 14, 2011 at 02:35 PM.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:43 PM   #17
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I'm not willing to believe this because the rumours themselves and even the sources are extremely suspect.

First that non-story about the OS X 10.7 Lion not coming out this week (guys, chill, there's 2 more days this week [those being Friday and Saturday] on which a release could happen!!!), and now this?

If this rumor can be authenticated by an actual trusted source within Apple, I'll probably have no choice but to get an iPhone 4 on AT&T and an iPad 2 on Verizon and just suck it up and deal with it.

BJ
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaos86 View Post
Yes, I got that. The Ph.D of Engineering holding microprocessor guys who designed the chip itself, and the Masters of Fine Arts or Arts degree holding Industrial Designers probably have never met.
The Industrial Designers are just as likely to be Science degree holders as they are art degree holders. The mechanical engineers who assist the Industrial designer in ensuring their designs meet thermal, rigidity, manufacturability etc. exclusively will have science degrees. And I assure you, they have met. I talk with my mechanical engineering counterparts daily to make sure we're in compliance.


Quote:
Nope. For a long time now, chip companies have been developing newer and faster technologies, building them into chips, and checking the tolerances to see how fast it can get before it melts. They literally make a new chip and slowly turn up the mhz on it to see where it fails, then they back off a bit. In fact, when they make a "line" of chips, they make them all the same way and test each one to that failure point. The i7s that hit 3.6ghz without failing get set to 3.5 and shipped for more than the onces that failed at 3.2 and ship at 3.07. That's why overclocking works if you have a big heatsink.
Which has nothing to do with them knowing reasonable bounds for package, chip and enclosure dimensions. These guys know where they are heading 2 years ahead of time and the people that build their stuff will constantly be promising of what they are capable of just around the corner to keep their business.

Quote:
In the case of the A5 chips, when they started working on them years ago (when the iPhone was 1.5x the thickness), they had 3 constraints:
a max size (imposed by the designers),
a max temperature (imposed by themselves and by the hardware itself),
and a min speed (imposed by the marketers, the software guys, and us, the users).
Years ago they knew the iphone would be what thickness it currently is. They knew the relative size of the components they had to fit. The max temperature is relatively constant because it's a max junction temperature determined by the process. Marketers wouldn't have a min speed in mind because apple specifically doesn't advertise it for the iphone.

Quote:
All three of those constraints have changed over the years, and they're a balancing act anyway. I.e. reducing size means reducing speed or increasing cooling, and someone has to choose.
They're working on the same process with the same transistor library. They knew what they were getting into.


Quote:
As you may have noticed when you last picked up a MacBook Air, Apple demands that all those factors are pushed all the way to their limits. When they put the A5s in the iPad 2, they hit those limits, backed off a little, and shipped it. Now when they put it in the iPhone 5, either the temperature or the size constraint (or both) has been lowered, and they can't very well back down the speed.

If the story is true, we'll either see some fancy new cooling, some fancy new size, or some lower speed.
Decreasing the speed wouldn't be an issue because it's not advertised, nor is it unknown territory. They downclocked the A4 for the iPhone 4 already, so that in itself wouldn't be a reason to delay unless they grossly underestimated the dissipation of this chip (this is especially pertinent given how fast the A4 already is for iOS. iOS 5 seemingly has no new speed demands and the A5 is 1.25 faster clock for clock on a single core. This is dual core. They could run it slower than the A4 and it'd still be faster). Couple this with the fact that Samsung's Exynos processor is very similar in design to the A5, is clocked at 1.2 GHz and fits inside a phone thinner than the iphone 4 with no reported heat problems that I've seen. I simply don't find excessive processor heat likely when they've been holding all the cards the whole time.

In fact, if you want to get precise, where the A5 and Exynos differ most is the GPU. However, since the GPU is orders of magnitude more powerful than before, they could downclock the hell out of it and it'd still be faster than the SGX 535 in the A4.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:56 PM   #19
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Way to predictable

I've been waiting for a good technology story to come along and say delays on the iPhone 5 along with size, heat, memory and any other problem some yeahoo can come up with.

Sit back and relax and hurry up and wait.

Oh Sams is selling the iPhone 4 for 146.00 w/2 year contract of course.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 03:01 PM   #20
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I had this vision of Steve Jobs using a string that suspends the iPhone in mid air and operating it with voice commands and hand gestures. "...and we also solved the Antenna issues too."
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 03:02 PM   #21
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Oh no! This could be the misstep that allows RIM to retake the smartphone leadership crown!!!!!

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Old Jul 14, 2011, 03:10 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autrefois View Post
After antennagate comes heatgate.

"You're holding it too much."

"Using any mobile phone will result in some production of heat. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone..."
"You're holding it too close to your head"

Using any mobile phone will result in some slow cooking of the brain cells but you won't notice it because the brain does not register pain. Only over time you'll discover that you have difficulty thinking - in other words you slowly go brain dead. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone..Unfortunately there is so much investment by the big telecommunications industry in this that it is wiped under the table however the long term problems are far bigger than those of smoking. Already we see a large increase in brain tumours in children whose parents gave them a mobile phone at a young age.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 03:12 PM   #23
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This is one of those rumors out of Apple that is controlled by Apple in order to make sure peoples high hopes aren't crushed (cause everybody wants technology in their phone that is way before the time). If they tell you they are coming out with an iPhone 4S or whatever other rumored names and they come out with an iPhone 5 with new everything, then we will all be excited... I don't buy it.

Pretty sure they have been working on iPhone 5 since before iPhone 4 was launched...
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 03:19 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Day48 View Post
This is one of those rumors out of Apple that is controlled by Apple in order to make sure peoples high hopes aren't crushed (cause everybody wants technology in their phone that is way before the time). If they tell you they are coming out with an iPhone 4S or whatever other rumored names and they come out with an iPhone 5 with new everything, then we will all be excited... I don't buy it.

Pretty sure they have been working on iPhone 5 since before iPhone 4 was launched...
Since the iPhone launch is imminent, but not being launched in the normal time frame, everyone is chomping at the bit for news. Any news could be potential money for a false informant or advertising for a blog that publishes it to get page hits. Think about the sheer volume of contradicting iPhone 5 rumors we've had. They can't all be true, yet they all get page hits and produce ad revenue.

I've found that it's worth paying attention to Gruber and Toplosky. Everyone else I take with a HUGE grain of salt.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 03:20 PM   #25
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All these stupid unreliable sources are ********

Why would apple delay the iphone 4s or 5 if it is only iOS5 upgrade? Either this source supplier is super stupid, or again they are stupid enough to think that apple will introduce the same iphone 4 like after 15 months.
Stop those ********!
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