Apple's Prototype iPhone 5S Based on New A7 Chip

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Last week, we shared a pair of photos of Apple's upcoming iPhone 5S, revealing a few details such as a larger-capacity battery and a new dual-LED flash system for the rear camera. At the time, we had some questions about the main chip from the device, which lacked an A-series identification printed on it and which carried date codes indicating that it had been manufactured in October 2012.

    We have now received several additional photos showing the device in greater detail, with a particular emphasis on the main chip.

    Prototype iPhone 5S (left) vs. iPhone 5 (right)
    Click for larger
    As seen in one photo, the chip carries an Apple model number of APL0698, suggesting that this is indeed intended to be branded as an A7 chip rather than a modification on the A6 chip found in the iPhone 5. The original A6 chip carried a model number of APL0598, with the A6X found in the fourth-generation iPad carrying an APL5598 model number, demonstrating how Apple varies the first digit for members of a given A-series family and increments the second digit when transitioning to a new family.

    Main A-series chip from prototype iPhone 5S
    Apple's pattern of model numbers can be seen even more clearly in the A5, which has seen several different variations over its lifetime. That chip debuted with an APL0498 model number, with a later die shrink carrying an APL2498 model number. Yet another version of the A5 appeared earlier this year in a tweaked Apple TV, with that chip carrying an APL7498 model number.

    Additional markings on this new iPhone 5S chip indicate that it carries Elpida DRAM, apparently in the same 1 GB amount seen on the A6.

    In addition to the 1243 date code visible in the previous photo, the new photo also clearly shows another date code of 1239 for the DRAM, indicating that that portion of the chip was manufactured in late September 2012. We have also determined that the device itself was assembled in December 2012, making it a rather early prototype.

    Another item of interest on the main chip is a K1A0062 identifier. We spoke with Dick James and Jim Morrison of chip teardown firm Chipworks, and they pointed out that in previous chips this number has typically started with an "N" and referred to a Samsung part number on the die. They wonder whether this new "K" identifier could indicate that the chip is being made by TSMC instead of Samsung. A transition from Samsung to TSMC has long been rumored, although the latest rumors indicate that the move will be made with the A8 chip rather than the A7.

    Closeup of text on rear of prototype iPhone 5S (IMEI obscured)
    Additional photos reveal a clearer view of the text on the rear of the device showing placeholder model and regulatory identifiers of X1234X, as well as a clear view of the rear camera system with dual-LED flash.

    Rear camera, microphone, and dual-LED flash on prototype iPhone 5S

    Article Link: Apple's Prototype iPhone 5S Based on New A7 Chip
  2. Ryth macrumors 68000

    Apr 21, 2011
    Just hurry up and come out already and take my money.
  3. yascott macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Black front panel with naked aluminum shell, please.
  4. oliversl macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
  5. litmag01 macrumors regular


    Jul 16, 2009
    That hardware has definitly seen better days!
  6. danielowenuk macrumors 6502

    Mar 18, 2011
    Notification LED?
  7. bchery21 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 3, 2009
    Boston, MA
    With the bigger battery I wonder if they'll advertise the duration of the device in the same light as the MBA...
  8. Schurkenstadt macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2013
    Dual color flash for more natural colours in flash photos?
  9. mozumder, Jun 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013

    mozumder macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2009
    Nice! The Dual Flash looks like they're separated for Tungsten color balance and Daylight color balance..

    This means your nighttime party pics aren't going to be as harsh-blue and will match room lighting.

    The colored flash matches a tungsten filter. For example:
  10. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    That is my guess. What would a dual color flash do anyway?

    I would like to see them improve on the durability of the phone.
  11. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2010
  12. Mago macrumors 68020

    Aug 16, 2011
    Beyond the Thunderdome
    Seems this update wil be only an speed boost, no new features as NFC or fingerprint scanner... pity:apple:
  13. bassfingers macrumors 6502


    Nov 15, 2010
    can't wait to see iOS 7 running on this machine
  14. Hakone macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2011
    Southern California
    The iP5's processor is still rather snappy that I doubt i'll notice a difference w/ the 5S. I'm wondering if iOS7 will need such 'computing horsepower' to run it smoothly.

    Still, i'm all for incremental upgrades.
  15. Michael73 macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    Shaping up to be a worthy update for those of us who have 4Ss on a two-year upgrade cycle. :D
  16. Dredd67 macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2012
    I think they will be used alternatively depending on the lighting conditions, to give a more natural look wether it's for a portrait in the shades, or night landscapes/ architecture for instance. Or maybe a balanced combination, or even greater: we would be given the choice to use either one or the other...
  17. putongnihongo macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Give me 128 gb capacity and "Shutup and TAKE MY MONEY!!!":D:D:D:D:apple:
  18. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    So the new iPhone will have an A7 chip. Color me shocked. :eek:
  19. dixido macrumors member


    Aug 29, 2010
  20. pancakedrawer macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2010
    Apple already uses the flash for notifications.
  21. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    The 6 will have the major updates. Seems like a spec bump and minor mods to the phone.
  22. needfx macrumors 68040


    Aug 10, 2010
    macrumors apparently
    we need a rumour with what only the 5s will sport, except the chip apparently

    (eg find my iphone, siri etc)
  23. Tiger8 macrumors 68020

    May 23, 2011
  24. appleisking macrumors 6502a

    May 24, 2013
    We don't know that. Or I guess you missed the dual led flash part. Early prototype prob just doesn't have a fingerprint scanner yet, or simply not mentioned by this article. As for NFC. Idk that many people use it too often. Don't think it's that missed.
  25. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    They could produce two complementary parts of the color spectrum. I don't know anything about white LEDs, but it may be tough to get a pure white flash as bright as they want. Using two different LEDs may be comparable to two white LEDs in terms of brightness but it may allow the camera to dynamically adjust for lightning conditions/white balance.

    That being said, the "K" is definitely an apple assigned number, so you can't look at TSMC parts to get an idea of whether it fits.

    The A series is also likely to switch GPU generations this time, but I doubt that's significant enough to warrant different numbering from Apple's side. I'm going to ignore that questionable digitimes and assume this is a TSMC part.


    Just now saw this. Glad to see my intuition was correct :D. Makes it feel even more legitimate to me. Would someone think to fake something like this?

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