With anticipation for Apple’s iPhone 5 (or whatever branding is ultimately used) extremely high, most of the focus has been, not surprisingly, on design and timing. But what will make the iPhone 5 tick? That’s the question I asked a couple of experts.
A5 chip: The Apple A5 houses the main processor–or so-called application processor–that will power the phone. The A5 (technically a system-on-a-chip or SoC) is the same chip that currently powers the iPad 2. The A5 distinguishes itself from the older A4, used in the iPhone 4, by having two processor cores (the A4 has one) and faster graphics circuits. Two cores allow the device–like the iPad 2–to multitask better than a single-core phone.
Qualcomm: Which brings us to the 3G chip. Verizon has already said it’s going to be a world phone. So, it has to be able to handle WCDMA and CDMA. And, of course, that’s Verizon. We’ve not heard anything out of AT&T. But if it’s going to be the identical device, it has to be Qualcomm as far as the baseband (3G) goes.
Camera: OmniVision is rumored to be supplying the 8-megapixel CMOS sensor that comprises the circuitry for the iPhone 5’s camera. That would be a step up from the 5-megapixel camera in the iPhone 4. Sony will also supply CMOS sensors, reportedly.