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Apple's iPhone 6 May Have This Stunning Feature

There's very little question that Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iPhone 6 will be the mother of all iPhone releases. Even with its 4-inch display, the prior-generation iPhone 5s has been selling like hotcakes, helping to drive Apple's stock price significantly up from the lows made in early 2013. With larger screens, along with a host of other goodies, the iPhone 6 models that hit the shelves are poised to do even better than the iPhone 5s did.

With that in mind, there's one secret potentially lurking inside the iPhone 6 that nobody's talking about. 

Apple, chips, and the user experience
Apple typically avoids the spec war, instead striving to make the proper technical choices subject to cost and technological constraints. This means that although Apple might not be able to list things like "octa core," its products offer class leading performance in the usage models that matter. This desire to maximize the user experience is precisely why Apple designs its own chips. 

One of the key features of the chips that Apple designs is top-shelf graphics performance. Not only does Apple typically splurge in using the latest and greatest graphics IP from Imagination Technologies (NASDAQOTH: IGNMF  ) , but its software teams also typically do a superb job in maximizing the efficiency of its graphics drivers. In short, Apple not only uses the best chip technology available, but it also does everything it can to squeeze every last bit of performance out of it. 

So, what's this stunning feature?
As part of the next-generation iPhone and iPad products, Apple will almost surely equip them with a system-on-a-chip dubbed the A8. The big question is just what the A8 is going to look like. In a previous piece, I speculated that Apple could be using Imagination Technologies' PowerVR Series 6XT as the graphics processor in the A8. However, Apple may use the A8 as a launch vehicle for something relatively new. 

Indeed, Apple has been showing signs that it has built -- and continues to add to -- its in-house graphics processor design team for quite some time. Though the timing of the deployment of the first graphics processor designed by this team is uncertain, it could be as early as the A8. If so, Apple could gain a significant performance and power advantage over the off-the-shelf Imagination Technology designs (even if these GPU designs leverage Imagination IP, as implied by Imagination's February announcement vis-a-vis Apple).

Foolish bottom line
The Apple A8, like most of Apple's chips in recent history, is likely full of surprises. It wouldn't be a bit surprising to see Apple launch its very first custom graphics processor in this fall's A8. However, if Apple's custom graphics processor isn't quite ready for prime-time this fall, the PowerVR Series 6XT -- Imagination's latest graphics processor -- would still be quite potent implemented in a modern 20-nanometer manufacturing technology.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning -- it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee that its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are even claiming that its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts that 485 million of these devices will be sold per year. But one small company makes this gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and to see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

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  • Report this Comment On July 14, 2014, at 2:14 PM, twolf2919 wrote:

    Ok - still waiting for the "stunning" bit.

    What, exactly, is "stunning" about Apple using its own GPU designs without knowing anything about them? Granted, if you had some knowledge that these designs are an order-of-magnitude faster than the prior generation, you'd have a leg to stand on, but as is, you have said nothing to support the word 'stunning' (Apple simply having its own GPU design isn't stunning - they already did it for the CPU, so doing it again for the GPU is no longer anything 'stunning' - it's expected.)

  • Report this Comment On July 14, 2014, at 7:53 PM, BigTimeRook wrote:

    Nothing stunning here folks. Move along.

  • Report this Comment On July 14, 2014, at 10:37 PM, thinkman wrote:

    "...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."

    - Michael Lille

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Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

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Ashraf Eassa

Ashraf Eassa is a technology specialist with The Motley Fool. He writes mostly about technology stocks, but is especially interested in anything related to chips -- the semiconductor kind, that is. Follow him on Twitter:

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