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New Apple iPhones (meh)

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
With all of the Qualcom and Intel modem drama it was not a surprise that the new iPhones do not have 5G. Like most other people, in my opinion, my next phone will be 5G capable. Now that Apple has the Intel modem team hopefully it will be on the SoC, but then again maybe not. I'm not a camera guy so maybe someone else can chime in here on the improvements.

The A13 SoC looks great as usual:

8.5 billion transistors
TSMC N7+ process
4-efficiency CPU cores and hundreds of voltage domains for increased battery life
20% better battery life than A12
20% faster performance
ML @ 1 trillion operations per second

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On a positive side note, I had the screen of my iPhone 10 replaced at an Apple store for the first time and it was a very good experience. They were amply staffed, it cost $28 (with Apple Care) and took less than an hour from start to finish. No appointment, busy mall, we walked right up then went for lunch. It was done before we finished. Hopefully not an isolated experience. It was $150 at a third party repair kiosk.

The first iPhone to be called Pro. Shoot with all-new Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cameras. Take photos in drastically lower light with Night mode. Capture the highest-quality video of any smartphone. A transformative triple‑camera system that adds tons of capability without complexity. An unprecedented leap in battery life. And a mind‑blowing chip that doubles down on machine learning and pushes the boundaries of what a smartphone can do. Welcome to the first iPhone powerful enough to be called Pro. Oh, and it’s water resistant up to 4 meters for 30 minutes.

Learn more at https://apple.co/2m5FP8w

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Randy Smith

Moderator
I like the hundreds of power domains feature. That was exactly where Sonics Energy Processing Unit (EPU) was headed, but the public may not see that now that they are part of Facebook.
 

Daniel Payne

Moderator
I was also impressed with the 8.5 billion transistors of the A13 chip on the 7nm+ process, along with improved battery life. So glad to have invested in AAPL stock a few years back. Also amazed at the growth of services at Apple, but their streaming service is clearly not ready to compete with Netflix or Disney until they have hundreds to thousands of titles to choose from.

Let's see what real-life testing of the iPhone 11 proves out in benchmarking versus promises.
 

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
One other thing I would like to add is that the Apple airpods (wireless headphones) are a very nice piece of technology. Great sound, great battery life, easy to use and store. A little pricey but that is Apple.
 

Wilco1

New member
I was also impressed with the 8.5 billion transistors of the A13 chip on the 7nm+ process, along with improved battery life. So glad to have invested in AAPL stock a few years back. Also amazed at the growth of services at Apple, but their streaming service is clearly not ready to compete with Netflix or Disney until they have hundreds to thousands of titles to choose from.

Let's see what real-life testing of the iPhone 11 proves out in benchmarking versus promises.
Well we now have a mobile phone beating Intel's fastest desktop CPU... at half the frequency and a fraction of the 95W! Unbelievable how fast it happened but it's clear x86 is at the end of it's life now it is trailing on process.
 

Wilco1

New member
When I read the benchmark comparison between an iMac 2019 vs iPhone 11, it shows the Intel-based iMac with higher scores:
The single-threaded scores are within a few percent. So a mobile phone is now beating the fastest desktop CPU you can buy. As in, it is faster than every PC in the world... That is a game changer.
 

name99

Member
With all of the Qualcom and Intel modem drama it was not a surprise that the new iPhones do not have 5G. Like most other people, in my opinion, my next phone will be 5G capable. Now that Apple has the Intel modem team hopefully it will be on the SoC, but then again maybe not. I'm not a camera guy so maybe someone else can chime in here on the improvements.

The A13 SoC looks great as usual:

8.5 billion transistors
TSMC N7+ process
4-efficiency CPU cores and hundreds of voltage domains for increased battery life
20% better battery life than A12
20% faster performance
ML @ 1 trillion operations per second
So Apple releases a phone core that is same speed as their fastest Intel product (i9-9900K in the newest iMac) and your reaction is "meh"?

Tough crowd! And somewhat blind to how the world is changing and where it is headed...


The point of the new design (and it is a new design, foundation of a new series of chips, the same way A7 was a foundation) is the extremely aggressive power management, and the design methodology it uses. And what's the point of THAT exercise? To provide foundation for a range of chips from IoT to server, all running at peak performance all the time (unlike Intel's short term sprinters).

Just like the A7 series were designed for a world where transistors are free, but GHz are hard to come by, this new series of cores is designed for a world where what's limiting the performance of your core is primarily local power density.

And, just to clarify, that ML @ 1TOPs is training ops. The older (A12) NPU already provided 5TOPs inference, the new one provides 6TOPs. But Apple appears to now be interested on on-device training. Unclear what they have in mind...
 

name99

Member
When I read the benchmark comparison between an iMac 2019 vs iPhone 11, it shows the Intel-based iMac with higher scores:
Just FYI there are
- some overclocked golden Intel cores with crazy cooling and GB5 numbers of around 1600. Clearly these are for lunatics and don't reflect normal human usage! I find them utterly uninteresting.

- there is (of course) a range of iMac i9-9900K scores. The highest of these reach about 1360, so very slightly higher than the iPhone score. But the average across those iMacs is about 1260. This basically represents the extreme twitchiness of turboboost, which is now so finely tuned that it can, under ideal conditions, give you a few more 100MHz for a few more seconds, but falls apart as soon as there's any sort of accumulated heat in the system.

- it's ultimately a very weak reed to pin any hopes for Intel on a gap of a few percent. IF an A13X is released (who knows? Apple's iPad release schedule has always been somewhat random) it'll probably come with enough tweaks to eat that few percent and more.

- likewise obviously the 8 large cores +HT of intel crush 2 large cores+4 small cores. But replicating cores is trivial. With these power numbers Apple can put 8 large cores+8 small cores in a Macbook Air and run them at iPad speeds. Good luck trying that with an i9 :)

And of course the Apple SoC has ML on it, both training and inference. Intel talks (and talks and talks!) about ML but they only ship DL-Boost (for training) on high end servers, and their inference solutions are all various specialized chips, nothing that comes standard on a consumer chip. It's like GPUs all over again, there's new tech that's becoming ever more expected in "computers" but Intel doesn't seem to have any strategy or plan to provide that tech.
(Obviously nothing on the desktop seems to really use ML yet. Well, what do you expect when desktop SoCs don't offer the necessary tech? I expect that to change, with some extremely interesting language/text processing stuff, for example, once the ARM Macs ship.)
 

benb

Member
I'm going to go with meh as well, no fault of the amazing A13, but the user experience of getting into Facebook 0.1 s faster is just not compelling. Longer battery life is pretty nifty though. Relatively fast battery degradation and throttling being a "feature" of the Apple world, starting from a higher plateau helps.

There are just no applications for power like the A13 leverages, in the current technology packages Apple offers. Let's imagine a different world, for a second, where Apple returns to their roots, builds a $100 hobbyist machine with a motherboard, an A13, and slots. The return of the Apple II, 1980s era Apple.

This would be a heck of a education PC, just like the Apple IIs were a long time ago. This Apple II-throwback could come with a simple operating system (AppleSoft Basic?) that permits folks to learn how to program that massive ML engine to do useful, non-privacy-compromising things. A democratization of ML. Imagine cards for connecting to a TV (for voice and picture data), an IR scanner, a fingerprint scanner, a camera, a microphone.

It'll probably never happen. Maybe when the monopolies are broken up.
 

name99

Member
I'm going to go with meh as well, no fault of the amazing A13, but the user experience of getting into Facebook 0.1 s faster is just not compelling. Longer battery life is pretty nifty though. Relatively fast battery degradation and throttling being a "feature" of the Apple world, starting from a higher plateau helps.

There are just no applications for power like the A13 leverages, in the current technology packages Apple offers.
"There are just no applications for power like the A13 leverages, in the current technology packages Apple offers. "

Clearly you have made no effort to experiment with Apple AR ...
It's obviously "experimental" right now, amazing tech in a suboptimal platform; but just as obviously Apple has released it already, and is getting devs used to it, in preparation for Apple Glasses, the platform on which it will truly shine.
 

ksec

Member
Copy from my other post.

Judging purely on the currently available information and educated guesses.

Should all those things came to be true, I would actually suggest everyone, from everything to even if you have an XS from last year to upgrade to at least 11. The iPhone 11 is better than XS in almost every way, that if you the 2nd hand price were good you would be getting a free upgrade.

Things that are better on 11.

A13 - Every part of the SoC has been improved. While nothing particularly new or revolutionary, it is the most refined and optimised SoC Apple has ever made.

Camera - I think the Camera is pretty much the same and you are swapping XS' Tele Photos lens to Super Wide Lens, to most people that is actually an upgrade. And you get Night Mode, You WANT a Camera with Night Mode in 2019. It is God damn useful.

Storage - You get the option of 128GB, which for most people is the absolute sweet spot.

Connection - You get better reception from a further tuned 2x2 MIMO on 11, compared to the 4x4 MIMO on XS which is great on paper but not so in real world. Also improvement in newer Intel 7660 Modem, rather than the 7560 Modem. While it is likely won't be as good as Qualcomm, you can be sure it will only be better than Intel's first 14nm Modem. There is also WiFi 6 or 802.11ax, another upgrade from XS's 802.11ac. And most importantly, U1 Chip, I think it will be a gamer changer.

FaceID - Wider angle is available on iPhone 11 as well, another upgrade from XS.

Battery - You also get better battery life, whether that is from XS, XS Max, or XR.

Sound - Dolby Atmos, along with rumoured improved speakers. ( We will need iFixit teardown to find out )

Basically you are getting a better than last year's iPhone XS for $300 dollar cheaper this year. I don't ever record Apple has done this in the life time of iPhone. Even though we kind of knew all of these months ahead, actually witnessing this is unreal, iPhone 11 offer so much bang for buck, I keep thinking I must be missing something.

In all previous years, $649 / $699 is the iPhone 6/7/8 starting price, and they only come with single camera, the real flagship camera comes / start with Plus Model at $749 / $799 price category. This year you are getting most of the Flagship features for $699.
 

Arthur Hanson

Active member
Price decay strategies are going to be ever more critical as the pace of advancement speeds up due to the "Great Acceleration" and will be critical in maintaining the usefulness and market penetration of any platform.
 
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