Apple’s iPad is a little bulky for smartphone-loving folks like us, but we took notice of Apple’s unveiling of its successor to gawk at the new A5 CPU the iPad 2 will boast. We had speculated about the possibility of the chip also popping up in the iPhone 5 (or whatever Apple calls it), and now there’s some actual evidence to back up that hypothesis, buried in the just-released iOS 4.3 code.
The ARM Cortex-A5 chip should deliver some big performance gains over a similarly-clocked A4, all the while managing to conserve battery life. There’s no doubt that it would make a heck of a smartphone CPU, but we haven’t been able to divine Apple’s goals for its next iPhone, leaving us with the possibility that Apple might hold off on including it for a future-generation model.
Analysis of iOS 4.3 turns up mention of “S5L8940”, which appears to be the designation given to the A5. The new iPad 2 versions are set to use the S5L8940, as well as another mystery device with the code N94, presumably the iPhone 5.
While not an official confirmation, the evidence makes it seem more likely than not that Apple will build its next iPhone around the A5, giving dual-core Androids some stiff competition.