In this new photo, an “A6” designation can be seen on the main chip, suggesting that Apple may indeed be rolling out a brand-new chip family with the next-generation iPhone.
Of course they’re using a new chip and calling it the A6. This is probably the easiest prediction to make about the new iPhone.
The A5X is too big and hot to run in the iPhone. Even a die shrink wouldn’t make it ideal.
And the A5X doesn’t have any CPU-power advantage over the A5 — the primary difference is much more parallel GPU power to drive the iPad 3’s Retina display. That’s why CPU-bound operations on screen images, such as visual effects using
renderInContext:, are actually much slower on the iPad 3: four times as many pixels are being processed by the same CPU power as the iPad 2.
There’s not much need for a big, hot, power-sucking, GPU-only boost to the iPhone.
But there is demand for more CPU and GPU power together, in a small and efficient package suitable for the phone’s size and battery capacity. Of course it will be a new chip, not the A5X, and of course they’d name it the A6.