The iPad Mini will have A6. Here's why.

Discussion in 'iPad' started by gladoscc, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. gladoscc macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lots of people own the new iPad. To them, why would they buy another iPad mini? All the difference would be Lightning and the smaller size. Except for rich geeks, people who have the new iPad generally won't buy the iPad mini, especially if they just brought an iPad.

    But if the iPad Mini has A6, then it'll be way faster. There would actually be a reason. The difference in cost between A5X and A6 is about $5. In fact, if they put it in the iPad Mini then they might actually save costs - the more you manufacture, the cheaper it goes. We have AppleTV, iPod Touch, iPad 2 and essentially the new iPad (cpu is unchanged for A5X) using the A5 SoC. We only have the iPhone 5 using A6. The price of A5 has probably already been pushed down to the bottom, but putting A6 in the iPad mini will increase sales and decrease the cost of both the iPhone and the iPad mini.
  2. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    It would also have comparable performance to the iPad 4 then, rather than being one of the lower end options. The difference is really just going to be the size. Also supposed references to it have been found as iPad 2,7 and 2,8 IIRC, so it's apparently apart of the iPad 2 line.
  3. Medic311 macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2011
    there would be no reason to keep the iPad 3 with an A5X and give the iPad Mini an A6 though...from a technical perspective. from a marketing perspective, it makes sense for production differentiation, but does it? why would Apple make the smaller version of the iPad quicker than the flagship model? the A5X just barely keeps the iPad 3 smooth, it still hiccups rather frequently compared to the iPad 2 and i still feel that the iPad 2 displays fast motion better. that retina screen is a beast and really gives the A5X a run for its money.

    what Apple should do is upgrade the iPad 3 to the A6 also. this will substantially increase battery life, reduce heat output, or if apple wanted to keep the battery life the same they can decrease the size of the battery and thus reduce the overall weight.

    it's honestly hard to know what apple will do...they don't always do what we see as the common sense thing to do, as they have their own reasoning.

    we will find out soon i hope
  4. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Why do you assume that Apple is targeting primarily new iPad owners? I think they would be silly to do so.

    In fact I would say that the primary reason for Apple to introduce such a device would be to expand the iPad market beyond existing owners, not to cater to those existing owners.

    If the A5 is powerful enough for the new iPod touch, which they target directly as a portable game player, then it should be fine for the iPad Mini, at least until it goes retina.
  5. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    The iPod touch should have been 5x at least
  6. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    I think the iPad mini is not so much targeting any particular apple product like the iPad 3 but rather a price point... the iPad is certainly a luxury device because of the price tag, and the iPad mini is meant to be more affordable for the masses.
  7. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2011
    Harrisburg, PA
    It wouldn't shock me to see the A6 in the iPad mini, but I don't think it has anything to do with targeting current iPad owners.

    Unifying component supplies is sensible. The A6 will be used for a good while going forward. iPhone 5 will likely be in production for 3 years (seems to be the cycle), eventually iPod touch will get it and I'd imagine the iPad 2 will go out of production once the mini is introduced--so that's one less device using the A5.

    The A6 benchmarks from the iPhone 5 have been really impressive, so it would make some sense to use it in the mini. It would place it ahead of the entire Kindle Fire line, neck and neck with the Nexus 7 and likely ahead of whatever MS is going to put in the Surface.

    They may also not be looking at the mini as a constant refresh product. The iPod touch has remained largely the same for quite some time, getting about two years of cycle out of a processor. The mini won't be the flagship product, so it wouldn't shock me to see the same thing there. Use the A6 now and it's ahead of the market. Keep it next year and you have solid demand for the lower priced product that still has a more than adequate processor.

    I'd imagine next year's iPad refresh will feature a modified version with better graphics performance. It would be weird to see the mini with a faster processor but that imbalance would only last a few months.
  8. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    I see this line up in my mind:

    iPad mini 16GB/32GB $249/$349

    iPad 2 16GB/32GB $399/$499

    iPad 4 32GB/64GB/128GB $499/$699/$799 (or $849)

    I can't see them having the iPad mini or iPad 2 perform on par with the iPad 4. The A5 is a perfectly capable chip for both of them.

    Five times more powerful? Even the iPhone 5 is only twice as powerful as the iPod touch so that isn't possible.
  9. Buckeyestar macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2011
    I'm pretty sure he meant the A5X chip, not five times the power.
  10. gladoscc thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2011
    No, apple is not selling iPad 2 while not selling iPad 3.

    WTF are you thinking?
  11. blackbelter macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2012
    It is possible to have 2 variations of the mini, one using A5/A5X, the othe using A6 and maybe even retina display. One aims at the price sensitive sector, the other form factor sensitive sector.
  12. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Why? The A5X has no CPU improvement, only increased GPU bandwidth for the purpose of handling the huge screen resolution of the retina iPad. It's a huge chip that uses lots of power.

    The A5 at lower resolutions actually does better at many graphical tasks than the A5X at retina iPad resolution, and it does it with much lower power requirements.
  13. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    Oh right.

    No need to be rude... what I'm thinking makes perfect sense. Apple will sell the $499 iPad 4 (Retina), the $399 iPad 2 (non-Retina) and the $249-$299 iPad mini (smaller) to cover everyone's needs.

    I don't see them selling the iPad 3 (or "new iPad") at $399 due to cost. And by the way the iPad 3 is called "The new iPad..." by Apple, and the iPad 4 will be called the same.


    So again:

    $249 iPad mini - A5
    $399 iPad 2 - A5
    $499 The new iPad... (4th generation) A6

    I don't think so. That's adding fragmentation, the same model but two different variations with different hardware. Don't forget that Apple won't want the iPad mini competing in terms of performance with the iPad 4, else they would have used the A6 in the iPod touch -- but they used the A5.
  14. Anti-Lucifer macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2012
    Apple is no longer the apple it was pre-iphone days. Back then, they did everything they could to be innovative and to strike the industry with some apple design thunder. Now, it's like they believe they are all that and forget about being competitive. They will recycle their hardware just so that it fits their $ making agenda and solely just that.

    It's the bottom line dollar value they can profit from instead of innovating anything. Just take a look at the ipod line. Sure they have a new "old" camera system. Why not throw in the iPhone 5's camera? Or even the iPhone 4S?

    Makes no sense they come out with all these ipods and now this rumored ipad mini to include some recycled hardware.

    Their biggest money maker is the iphone device. Everything else is just gravy. So if they are able to selling so many millions of iphones, they could really care less about what you think will be awesome hardware wise in the next ipad mini. They will recycle the same crap.

    1024x768 screen is a nothing special. But hey, it's an ipad so duh, you will buy it.
  15. Medic311 macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2011
    ^ that.

  16. sineplex macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2010
    if i was apple i'd just put the A6 into the ipad mini and be done with it. shove an A6x into the ipad 4... or upgrade it in some other way.

    In fact i'd much prefer an ipad mini to be built with the same high quality as the iphone 5.
    Amazon's new tablets are already top end products with dolby sound and the rest.
    I'd want to make an impact and take back the market share.
  17. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    The A5X, raw CPU power-wise, is no faster than the A5.


    They won't use an "X" version of anything, let it be A5 or A6 - no need for faster graphics as it'll only be driving an XGA screen.
  18. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
  19. irDigital0l Guest

    Dec 7, 2010
    Umm...wouldn't they just wait for the iPad 4 then?


    iPod touch is always considered lower class than the iPhone.

    Don't see Apple changing that philosophy soon.
  20. WeegieMac Guest


    Jan 29, 2008
    Glasgow, UK

    The only way the A5X can outperform the A5 is if the iPad 2 and new iPad are running at the same resolution (iPad 2's).

    That frees up some of the Quad Core GPU to push effects/frames as opposed to resolution, but not a huge deal as all those pixels still need powered.
  21. ManicMarc macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2012
    We've seen this all before. Nothing new. As anyone who read Jobs' biography will know, he was also against that mini at first. The mini will not be the flagship product, and so it won't have the newest processor. The mini is all about targeting people who don't want to pay £400 for a tablet. It's the BMW 1 series of iPads.
  22. 725032 Guest


    Aug 5, 2012
    The mini will Not be using an A6... Thats 100% fact
  23. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    Not necessarily: in the second and third generations, it had even more powerful CPU than the then-current iPhone 3G / 3GS. It was only later that Apple started to seriously dumb it down by first not including an IPS screen and the RAM (4th gen; 512 vs. 265MByte) and, later, even downgrading the CPU (the 2011-no-update + 5th gen: A4 vs. A5, A5 vs. A6).


    It was exactly this behavior that led Nokia, Palm, RIM and, to a lesser degree, even Microsoft to their current situation. They thought they own the market and can just stop innovating.
  24. gibbo132 macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2010
    If we are using that analogy the iPad mini will be a great tablet! Lets hope they bring out a M1 version!
  25. dchao macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2008
    I agree with that. The company long term strategy can't change overnight. IMO, this new iPad is a ATV companion. Don't forget ATV is one of Steve's main hobbies.

    I would love to have a tablet that links into my ATV. The possibility is endless.

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