updated 12:56 pm EDT, Thu May 31, 2012
May get unannounced graphics hardware
A beta release of iOS 6 has revealed some details of Apple's testing for the next-generation iPhone, according to a source for 9to5Mac. iOS 6 is currently said to be running Darwin Kernel 13.0.0, one version ahead of OS X Mountain Lion. The XNU build is also a later 21xx, as compared to Mountain Lion's 2050.5.8. Significantly, though, the code also mentions a processor, "DEVELOPMENT_ARM_S5L8950X."
The string is a reference to a Samsung chip, an upgrade from the S5L8940X on the previous iPhone and the S5L8945X on the third-generation iPad. Although Apple uses customized ARM designs in the form of the A-series, they are manufactured by Samsung at a plant in Austin, Texas. The new iPhone's processor is reportedly known at Apple as the "A5-***," the blank characters being kept secret to protect the article's source. If so, it likely means that no A6 processors will launch this year.
The GPU on the phone is listed as the "SGX543RC*," again leaving a blank for a number that could identify people. Notably, no such processor officially exists yet. The device should however carry the same 1GB of RAM as the iPhone 4S and third-generation iPad, and some prototypes allegedly use older Qualcomm baseband chips, although the one in question uses the same technology in the latest iPad.
The source suggests it may be because access to new baseband isn't needed for his/her work. Battery life is likewise out of the picture, since the person's prototype must always be plugged in.
Apple is claimed to be far into iOS 6 development, making an October iPhone launch easy; an even earlier launch might theoretically be possible. 9to5Mac says it has also obtained a new screenshot of the iOS 6 Maps app, in which the 3D button is no longer next to the locator option in the iPhone version. 3D has been moved to under the bottom right scroll/menu as a way of avoiding triggering the wrong item.