back to article iPhone 8: Apple has CPU cycles to burn

While the iPhone 8 retains the same unremarkable design for the fourth year running, the internals are a different story. Thanks to extraordinary improvements in semiconductor design, it has been able to shrink the capacity and size of its battery pack, while opening up a significant performance lead over Qualcomm and Samsung …

  1. Semtex451 Silver badge
    Alert

    Could someone please call an ambulance for Andrew?

    I don't think he's feeling at all well

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Joke

      "I don't think he's feeling at all well"

      If he's feeling unwell, I hate to imagine how certain commentards who are all to quick to question what the iPhone's cosmetics may be inspired by must be feeling...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >I hate to imagine how certain commentards who are all to quick to question what the iPhone's cosmetics may be inspired by must be feeling

        Imagine how they'd feel if the headphone socket came back, they kept the same width, added another 12 hours of battery life and an SD slot so you could actually use that amazing camera.

        ...for the vast majority of users 5 minutes out of the box it's going in an ugly rubberised case - cosmetics are irrelevant .... and the higher the price the uglier the case.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Also delusional.

      I would take the Sony XZ1 phone giving 960FPS superslow-mo 720p 19Mp anyday, over the iphone 8 sporting last-years Sony sensor offering 1080p 240FPS with a 12Mp sensor.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try getting work at your desk with that "Mobile First" nonsense. Maybe in India or China. Not anywhere else. And no one is producing studio quality music production on an iPhone. So blah blah blah. Stand in line and get yourself that iPhone 8, or pre-order yourself an iPhone X, if you must. I'll pass on both. I'm sure others will, too.

    1. Aitor 1

      Next step.

      The next step is to make a base for it that cools it and prepare the sw for the mobile phone to be the laptop brain.

      1. Stuart 22

        Re: Next step.

        "The next step is to make a base for it that cools it and prepare the sw for the mobile phone to be the laptop brain."

        Or hold it under the cold tap if it's IP68 rated.

        1. Blank Reg

          Re: Next step.

          I wonder if the glass back can withstand the thermal shock of cold water after it's gotten good and hot from transcoding that 4k video.

      2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Next step.

        I just put a lot of ice in my pocket along with the phone.

        1. Mikel

          Re: Next step.

          While rendering I have my wife put it in her pocket, and the frost proximity takes care of the rest.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Next step.

            >While rendering I have my wife put it in her pocket, and the frost proximity takes care of the rest.

            He chose... poorly.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Passing is temporary

      This has the distinct smell of an ARM CPU coming to a Macbook near you in the immediate future.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: Passing is temporary

        "This has the distinct smell of an ARM CPU"

        As recognisable by Pennsylvanian sniffer dogs?

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/09/13/electronics_sniffer_dog_for_child_abuse_crooks

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Passing is temporary

        This has the distinct smell of an ARM CPU coming to a Macbook near you in the immediate future.

        Maybe, but if you run single-thread ARM vs. Intel, then Intel still tends to come out quite a bit better. Still, could be a nice bargaining chip in negotiations.

        1. Steve Todd

          Re: Passing is temporary

          @Charlie, not so much, no. The Core i7 in the mid-2017 13" MBP produces a single-threaded Geekbench score of 4590. The A11 comes back with a score of 4204. Less than a 10% advantage in single threaded applications isn't something users will notice.

          1. Naselus

            Re: Passing is temporary

            "The Core i7 in the mid-2017 13" MBP produces a single-threaded Geekbench score of 4590. The A11 comes back with a score of 4204. "

            All that really shows is that Linus Torvalds is right when he says Geekbench is a crap benchmark, though. It has a significant bias toward ARM against x86. Other benchmarking tools tend to show a significant difference in Intel's favour, which only becomes more pronounced over extended testing.

      3. john.jones.name

        ARM macbook -> not a hope

        the integer performance is nowhere near good enough let alone Floating point

        Yes the Apple designs are good but they are designed for battery life in the same way a iPhone has a limited amount of RAM and simply increasing it will not improve performance beyond a certain point.

        Intel have made some mistakes but still have the general workload crown by a long long way

      4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Passing is temporary

        This has the distinct smell of an ARM CPU coming to a Macbook near you in the immediate future.

        Hopefully.. And maybe with a lower-power AMD coprocessor to accellerate those x86 bits for people who want to run Windows (linux comes in ARM flavours too).

        I'd buy that.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      I arrive at work, put plug my smartphone into a USB port to recharge and it stays there the whole day, whilst I work on a beefy PC with 3 screen setup.

      I probably spend around 60 hours a week in front of a PC and about 2 hours in front of the phone.

      1. Mikel

        ->big_D

        Your phone doesn't go even one day without being on the charger? That's sad. Have you thought about getting one with more legs? I only charge my Moto G5 Plus every second day, and only while I'm sleeping.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: ->big_D

          I have a Nexus 5X, it can last about a day and a half. I use it to listen to podcasts and audio books when I walk the dog, so it does get a little workout every day (BT headphones). It is also attached to my Fitbit. but updating that is about a minute a day.

          But actually "using" it for anything other than audio is very limited. I find such a small screen impractical and unless it is an emergency, I wait until I can get to a "proper" screen.

          The plugging it in is just habit and at least it is fully charged when I need it.

  3. Dave 126 Silver badge

    The iPhone 8 uses Sony's new stacked camera sensors which have processing and memory built in.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/22/iphone-8-teardown-reveals-few-surprises-but-more-camera-details/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's last years Sony sensor. Sony are fitting this years improvements to it's XZ1, and offering a whopping 960FPS

      1. FIA

        It's last years Sony sensor. Sony are fitting this years improvements to it's XZ1, and offering a whopping 960FPS

        Although aparently not 120,240 or 480 which seems a little odd...

        See here.

  4. Simon Harris Silver badge

    "Top consumer camcorders ... don't even come close."

    They do, however, have decent optics and removable storage.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: "Top consumer camcorders ... don't even come close."

      And a battery that you can change.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Odd....

    from the Apple site:

    4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps

    1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps

    720p HD video recording at 30 fps

    Oh sorry you mean a very limited short burst mode (yes I know you stated that), unlike a sustained mode.

    And where is the HDR on video?

    Where is the 20x optical zoom?

    Someone clearly wants to get back in Apples marketing good books.

    My little hatchback is about the same up to 10mph as most supercars, does more MPG and has a better equipment list. Therefore my car is better than a supercar.

    1. Hello to Jason Isaacs
      Happy

      Re: Odd....

      Your car is better than a supercar.

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: Odd....

        "Your car is better than a supercar."

        That's the problem, isn't it?

        Supercars are not very good at the job of transporting people and things from A to B. £20000 of family car is very good at ti.

        There is no supercar phone, in general they just get more competent as they get more expensive though a law of diminishing returns sets in.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Odd....

      What gives you the impression that the iPhone only records high frame hi resolution in short bursts? I found no mention of such a limitation in any reviews. Obviously the NAND storage will fill up quickly, but it is quick enough.

      If you revisit the list from which you copied and read down, you'll see 'Slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps' - though apparently you need to switch the codec to HEVC.

    3. fobobob

      Re: Odd....

      Can't find it now (i'll keep looking), but someone did a little write up on why American police departments should have selected a minivan (i forget which type) over the Ford Crown Victoria, as the minivan was superior in pretty much every parameter aside from top speed.

      1. Oblamo BinLyen

        Re: Odd....

        They are using Ford's SUV's, forget which one (Explorer??) but they are like bird droppings, all over the place.

      2. Mikel

        @fobobob

        Everyone knows police can't see minivans. So naturally they can't find them to add them to the fleet.

  6. Lloyd

    Windows

    So, does iTunes work properly yet on Windows or does it still self destruct constantly?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iTunes on Windows

      For my second cycle of iPhone very recently, I did the same as the first round: I got "last year's model" for cheap, and it is more featured and powerful than I need. This time it's the 7; last one was a 6.

      But this time around, my iTunes on Vista (8-year-old Dell tower) can't connect to it, and there are no more updates from Fruit HQ. So this iPhone's nice, big memory is lacking the GBs of music I intend to carry with me, and work has been less than productive. I'm going to have to migrate my entire iTunes library over to my missus's Win 8.1 laptop (4?-year-old Dell). Thinking I'll keep the media on a flash drive and only load the application itself, so she still has lots of space to keep fiddling with Photoshop Elements. (We're not power users, but we're passively keeping non-tablets relevant.)

      If Fruit HQ decides to drop Windows support entirely, I can imagine buying a Mac Mini and migrating not only the media but my household-financial operations (about all I do on the old desktop). Maybe my external ioSafe drives can be converted into Time Machines.

      (Why not Apple Music? Too cheap and too stubborn, admittedly. Also why I'm using an old version of Quicken, and an old Vista machine, and using USB external HDs for backups...)

      1. richardcox13

        Re: iTunes on Windows

        > I'm using an old version of Quicken, and an old Vista machine, and using USB external HDs for backups

        When Quicken abandoned the UK consumer marketplace they made 2004 available for free (there's a licence code on their web site[1]). With the caveat of needing elevation, it runs fine on Windows 10.

        On topic: when mobile phones can happily drive a couple of more than HD resolution displays, use a proper[2] keyboard with a TB or so of NVME connected storage then maybe it can replace a desktop.

        [1] Or at least there was when I looked a year or so ago.

        [2] Ie. mechanical.

      2. D@v3

        Re: AC

        If you are running vista and looking to migrate to Win8.1, i feel exceptionally sorry for you.

      3. robin thakur 1

        Re: iTunes on Windows

        What I did is use iTunes Match to get my GBs of music to the cloud and now mostly use Apple Music. Anything Match can't match...will get uploaded and is then accessible anywhere storable offline etc. I've not had to use iTunes in conjunction with the iPhone since about 2013 (other than for buying Music occasionally, so whenever I see people whining about iTunes these days, all it tells me is that you are probably stuck in the past and haven't properly used the Apple ecosystem for a while.

      4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: iTunes on Windows

        If you are still using Vista then iTunes won't be the only thing that won't work before long. It is just slightly better than using XP on a machine that is connected to the Internet.

        No security updates. AV software going EOL etc etc etc

        The writing has been clearly marked on the wall for some time when it comes to Vista.

        I'm afraid that it is time to upgrade your OS. If it can't hack Windows 7 then there are plenty of reconditioned machines availble on the internet. Some start at less than £100.

        Many of these will be even capable of running Windows 10... Should you desire to.

        1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

          Re: iTunes on Windows

          If you are still using Vista then iTunes won't be the only thing that won't work before long.

          Vista sucked ass. Why on earth would anyone choose to continue using it?

    2. gurugeorge

      Re: itunes

      I was converted after seeing my top spec android left dead by an iPhone in 2011 - The iPhone had half the ram, half the processor speed - but loaded a website while my android was still showing a white screen. Btw I haven't used iTunes since 2012 - but have only used iPhones since. There is a reason that 2013 iPhone 5s costs more than last years Samsung galaxy.

    3. tfb Silver badge

      Re: Windows

      That's not the question you should ask. The question you should ask is 'does iTunes work properly yet on OSX or does it still self-destruct constantly?'. And the answer is that every other version of the fucking thing decides that some bit of state I care about doesn't in fact matter. Usually this is podcasts but sometimes it's other stuff.

      1. Vector
        Angel

        @tfb Re: Windows

        "...every other version of the fucking thing decides that some bit of state I care about doesn't in fact matter."

        Then you're not using it properly. The proper way to use it is to accept everything Apple has decided for you and be on your merry way. They know far better than you...

    4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Windows

      does iTunes work properly yet on Windows

      Don't be silly - they can't get it to work properly on MacOS and that's its native platform..

      They just make it suck harder on Windows because.. you know.. Windows.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd rather read one of Andrew's articles than buy an iPhone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It is like choosing which is less painful, a hot poker in the eye or a hot poker in the rear...

  8. onerob

    Some hurt feelings in the comments. Calm down dears.

  9. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Wasn't this fantastic GPU allegedly made with Imagination's stolen IP and poaching their employees?

    The six-core CPU A11 is now complemented, for the first time, by an Apple-designed GPU.

    Apple can now support 4K at 60 frames per second (fps) and 1080p video at 240fps. Top consumer camcorders costing around $1,000 from Sony and Panasonic can't match either frame rate. They don't even come close.

    While the Californian juggernaut carries on regardless, yet another supplier ended up as roadkill. GT took two years to come out of bankruptcy, the remains of Imagination got picked up off the tarmac by Chinese investors after MIPS was offloaded.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Wasn't this fantastic GPU allegedly made...

      "A lot of people are saying X. Now I've asked some people — smart people, the best people — and, you know what these people are like. They don't speak to me, I speak to them. And, I don't know, but a lot of people are saying X!"

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Wasn't this fantastic GPU allegedly made...

        "A lot of people. Many people. Imagination's lawyers! I don't know folks, but when there's Imagination's lawyers involved and they've said Imagination is in dispute with Apple, and they've started an... official... dispute... resolution... process, official process, well, some people would say there's no smoke without fire. And if they said that, they'd be right to say that. And the smart lawyer people are saying that too."

        1. ThomH Silver badge

          Re: Wasn't this fantastic GPU allegedly made...

          I think the concept of "there's no smoke without fire" speaks volumes here. Teach the controversy!

          Apple has notified Imagination that it expects no longer to be using Imagination IP next year or the year after, and will cease to pay licensing fees then. Imagination says it doesn't think Apple could achieve that.

          Imagination has not alleged employee stealing. Imagination has not alleged that Apple is failing to pay for its IP right now.

        2. Mikel

          Re: Wasn't this fantastic GPU allegedly made...

          @Dan 55

          I hear there's an opening soon for White House Press Secretary. You should apply. You've got the right stuff.

  10. ukgnome Silver badge

    I knew the iPhone 8 would be a sound investment :-)

  11. macjules Silver badge

    "While the iPhone 8 retains the same unremarkable design for the fourth year running"

    So, a completely glass casing isn't a new design?

    Mind you, I am not going to waste my money on a paltry iPhone 8. No, It's iPhoneX for me or nothing at all. If you are going to waste your money then waste it ALL I say.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      The glass rear is retro, so it is basically the same design as the last 4 years, plus retro bits from 2010.

    2. Vector

      "So, a completely glass casing isn't a new design?"

      Well, no.

      New materials maybe, same old design.

  12. alain williams Silver badge

    Please explain to me ...

    why I need all of this to talk on the phone and send/receive text messages ?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Please explain to me ...

      Why on earth would you buy a phone to do that? ;-)

      On a recent trip back to Blighty it seemed to me that owning an I-Phone was almost entirely about status. To paraphrase "Christopher Unborn": Citizens: buy an I-Phone. You won't live longer but you will live better!

      1. robin thakur 1

        Re: Please explain to me ...

        This is simply the way human beings work to differentiate themselves by buying into mass market ideas disseminated and reinforced through the media . They use their phones constantly therefore what they use says a lot about them to other people with the same priorities. The same is true of the car market, fashion etc. why wouldn't it extend to the phones market? Yes I use an iPhone and will be preordering the X in black and white, but only the 64GB this year, because next year they might work out how to get the fingerprint reader working under the screen :)

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Please explain to me ...

          Na. Not status, they are two commonplace for that. There are any number of sources to get them cheap and a lot of kids have them.

          I think the main reason a lot of people have an iPhone is because there is not really much choice given all the competitors make the same phone with different housings and it's a pretty shit phone at that.

          I'm no fan of iPhones and I wait in vain for the day somebody comes up with a decent alternative. Until them I'll tolerate one as the least crap of the choices available.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: Please explain to me ...

            If all you want to do is call and text, you don't even need a smartphone. Buy a $20 feature phone that can standby for a month and call it good.

            If calling is getting further and further down the list of things you do with your phone, then more performance might come in handy for you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please explain to me ...

      why I need all of this to talk on the phone and send/receive text messages?

      Because it attracts hipster chicks?

  13. 2Fat2Bald

    So. It can - briefly - sprint to do something very quickly that only a few people will want doing?

    I mean - don't get me wrong - it's impressive and all. But is it actually - genuinely - valuable?

    1. getHandle

      It's valuable to Apple!

    2. Tim Almond

      What's it "bound" to?

      Maybe you can render a page faster, but that still depends on the network connection. Your CPU is waiting for packets of data from the server. All these cores and faster speeds are great, if everything else they depend on is fast enough. It's why almost everyone stopped upgrading PCs.

      I've been using a Moto G4 for about a year and I've seen tests next to iPhone and none of it convinces me it's worth the extra. OK, the camera is nicer, but it's still a camera phone. It's for photos on Facebook, not photos for your wall.

      1. Architect CAD monkey

        Re: What's it "bound" to?

        I just got an 8 plus just for the camera. With two young children and an outdoor active lifestyle a lot of our photos are spur of the moment and the photos are more than good enough for the wall.

      2. D@v3

        Re: Camera phones

        The camera in my phone is considerably better than the camera that used to be in my bag, as a result, i do have some photos on my wall that were taken with each.

    3. ciaran
      Devil

      Re: iPhone 8: Apple has CPU cycles to burn

      That's exactly what a PC salesman said to me in 1989 when I wanted to by an Acorn Archimedes. He thought an 8088-based PC was the hot product I should be investing in. Actually all the shops gave me the same pitch.

    4. ThomH Silver badge

      It's probably valuable to the Instagram crowd that they can update the heavily fictionalised versions of their lives more quickly, and mobile gamers can now enjoy nicer graphics between their micropayments. Indeed for them, the phone is the cheapest part.

      1. Semtex451 Silver badge

        Their worth is the cheapest part

    5. Blank Reg

      No it's not really that valuable. Get any smartphone running at full tilt and it will be shutting itself down in a few minutes to prevent a meltdown.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        I can't speak for the iPhone 8, but my 6S plus can run the CPU at full tilt basically non stop without getting all that warm, thank you very much. Just because you think "any smartphone" will shut itself down from heat if you do that doesn't make it true. Now I'm not sure what the use case for running a smartphone's CPU at full tilt for a half hour would be exactly, but if anyone figures that out Apple is ready.

        The only thing I've noticed that will make my phone get close to what I'd consider 'hot' (not hot enough to burn, but hot enough you definitely notice) is using a lot of LTE data in an area with weak signal.

  14. LeedsMonkey

    The biggest issue for me with the iPhone is that I could go from an iPhone 6 to an iPhone 8 and not really be able to tell the difference, but it would cost me the best part of £1k to do so. There is no sense of occasion when you get a new iPhone, after half an hour you forget you bought the new one, and only when you go to plug in your headphones do you remember.

    And then there's the price. You really want the iPhone X, but it's going to cost a small fortune and is not really worth more than £500.

    1. robin thakur 1

      I have the same sad come down feeling after I've raced through the new features and sniffed the box, having ruined any surprises in iOS by being on the beta programme.

      However, you can't really measure the satisfaction engendered by other people's envy and that is the part that makes it totally worth it. Not from other techies that might snarl at you that the LG V30 looks similar or that Samsung went with the bezel lite approach first, or even the perverse section that point out that it's mostly all Samsung inside anyway from a hardware perspective, nobody really cares what they think anyway, they can't even iMessage. The fact that Apple's tech in this last couple of rounds is so far ahead of their competitors based on their CPU/GPU designs being proprietary is just the icing on the cake that is actually capable of shutting them up.

      When I first imported an iPhone from the US in 2007, using it in the street would cause a cooing group of people to gather round you in awe and the same when I got the watch a couple of years back, people stop you in the street and on the tube to ask you about it, or offer to buy it if it isn't available in their country, it's weird!!

      slightly </sarcasm> but mostly true

    2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      The biggest issue for me with the iPhone is that I could go from an iPhone 6 to an iPhone 8 and not really be able to tell the difference

      Funny, that's how I felt about going from a Motorola to a Samsung.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whenever I try to measure power I fall back to the standard question.

    Can it pull a caravan?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Or can it clog up all routes into Devon and Cornwall on a bank holiday weekend?

      1. Mike Richards Silver badge

        I assume it could be used to call in a bomb threat on the M5 - so yes.

    2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Can it pull a caravan?

      All that will do is annoy all the people trying to make phone calls behind you.

  16. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    My S5 is more than fast enough for me. Could always do with more battery, but now I've got two spares and a power pack I think I'll manage.

    I will admit that the camera on the I-Phone does some very nice things: slow motion,, time-lapse but nothing I feel I'm desperately missing. Give me a grand and I'll find other things to spend it on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      One grand???

      "I will admit that the camera on the I-Phone does some very nice things: slow motion,, time-lapse but nothing I feel I'm desperately missing. Give me a grand and I'll find other things to spend it on."

      One grand??? You can get all that functionality for just a quarter of that, a mere 250 sheets if you buy the eternal classic SE. Bargain of the decade so far.

  17. Turgut Kalfaoglu

    Why do you need a very fast CPU on a cell phone?

    I can understand on a desktop or even laptop; but why do you need a such fast CPU and such a huge price tag on a cell phone? My current phone, a new Huawei, does everything amazingly fast, still costs a fraction of what Apple charges.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Why do you need a very fast CPU on a cell phone?

      It's not really necessary at all, and neither are the high res screens they have.

      However, if you are playing Top Trumps then you absolutely need the bigger numbers!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why do you need a very fast CPU on a cell phone?

      Because, counter-intuitively, it actually improves battery life. By completing tasks faster, the processor can spend more time idling and less time consuming power.

      How applicable that is to this specific phone, I can't tell you though.

  18. Cuddles Silver badge

    I have a better idea

    "it has been able to shrink the capacity and size of its battery pack"

    Instead of doing that, why don't they, you know, not do it? No actually gives a shit about phone benchmarks; even bargain-basement Android phones are plenty fast enough to screw around on Facebook and Youtube, and being able to render a web page a couple of milliseconds faster is simply not relevant to anyone. For that matter, having a phone 0.1 mm thinner is not something anyone has ever cared about either; going from giant bricks to something that comfortably fits in your pocket was a big step, going from something that comfortably fits in your pocket to something that looks exactly the same size if you don't have a micrometer handy really isn't a step at all.

    What people actually want out of a phone is something that doesn't need charging every five seconds. You would struggle to find a single consumer who wouldn't happily accept a phone a whopping 1 mm thicker and a few grams heavier if it meant they only needed to charge it every two or three days rather than having to constantly worry if it will last until they've finished work. Even people like me who can generally already manage two or three days of light use with most phones would be happier if that was five or six days instead.

    It's not improvements in semiconductor design that have allowed them to shrink the battery, it's a complete absence of common sense.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: I have a better idea

      "You would struggle to find a single consumer who wouldn't happily accept a phone a whopping 1 mm thicker and a few grams heavier if it meant they only needed to charge it every two or three days"

      Sony already do this, but not very successfully. The difference between the iPhone 8 and the Xperia XZ1 Compact isn't that huge, though obviously the iPhone is somewhat faster and runs iOS.

    2. robin thakur 1

      Re: I have a better idea

      It's funny isn't it. Phones with removable batteries were readily available, yet the majority of people don't buy them, so the manufacturers stopped making them. Same with Micro SD cards, Google now shun them, so people generally don't bother and get everything from the cloud instead. Sales data says that people buy thin phones with fixed storage and non-replaceable batteries and value features like being waterproof far more. Thicker phones with longer lasting batteries generally don't sell.

      Clearly our requirements as techies are not that important to the powers that be because we don't spend enough money on gadgets and are content using really old phones like the S5. A cynical person might say that the vast majority of people just buy a new devices when the battery on theirs starts to flag because all the intervening OS updates have made the phone run like a three legged dog anyway.

      1. YARR

        Re: I have a better idea

        The new iPhones are overpriced and overspeced for many uses. The 4k video is nice, but anyone wanting quality footage would buy a camera with a proper sized lens. The killer app is probably going to be something AR related, but it might not take off until phones with this spec are commonplace.

        Phones with removable batteries were readily available, yet the majority of people don't buy them, so the manufacturers stopped making them. Same with Micro SD cards,

        Are you sure it wasn't the other way around? i.e. Manufacturers stopped making them so they could increase their profit from storage and future battery sales. Captive consumers who only trust established brands, or who need another feature only available on those phones had no choice.

        Previous comment : you can't really measure the satisfaction engendered by other people's envy and that is the part that makes it totally worth it... When I first imported an iPhone from the US in 2007, using it in the street would cause a cooing group of people to gather round you in awe

        It's probably not envy (of you personally); people are just curious about new things. Most people (in wealthy countries) could afford to buy an iPhone if they really wanted, but sensible people weigh up the cost v benefit against their other needs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I have a better idea

          "The new iPhones are overpriced and overspeced for many uses. The 4k video is nice, but anyone wanting quality footage would buy a camera with a proper sized lens. The killer app is probably going to be something AR related, but it might not take off until phones with this spec are commonplace."

          I'm not sure what some people ere going on about here today. You can get 4k video for a mere 250 sheets if you buy the eternal classic SE. The quality of the lens is excellent.

          AR? It's already available on apps such as Planfinder and Flightradar24.

          2+ day battery? Already got that on the 250 quid SE.

          "Most people (in wealthy countries) could afford to buy an iPhone if they really wanted, but sensible people weigh up the cost v benefit against their other needs."

          My iPhone SE, the first iPhone I've bought after a decade+ of a myriad of Android and Windows, is way better than any of my previous phones for a comparable, or even much cheaper price.

          1. YARR

            Re: I have a better idea

            The optical properties of a phone lens cannot compare to a larger camera lens (see: Optical Transfer Functions). Phone lenses also suffer from micro-abrasions due to lacking a lens cover.

            My point about AR was in relation to an app that would require the CPU power of the latest generation iPhones. AR is a demanding real-time processing task. A future AR app might require ALL that CPU power, and hence justify people needing to upgrade from older phones like your SE. I'm aware that less demanding AR apps have been available for several years.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: I have a better idea

              The optical properties of a phone lens cannot compare to a larger camera lens (see: Optical Transfer Functions).

              Of course not. But the gap is narrowing and Go_Pro is used extensively in broadcast TV nowadays.

  19. DougS Silver badge

    Noticing something interesting

    There are a lot of people saying basically "what's the use of a really fast CPU in a phone". Now maybe that's true, we aren't mining bitcoin on our phones after all. But it is interesting the people asking that mostly appear to be on team Android, and one thing you always hear from them is how "far behind" Apple is compared to Android. Rather than concede Apple is totally wiping the floor with them performance-wise, they dismiss the importance. Meanwhile, if you want to know how Apple is behind Android hardware-wise, you'll hear stuff like this:

    "Can't believe Apple isn't shipping with more RAM!"

    "They don't have QHD displays, how quaint!"

    "Look at that huge bezel ugly cutout!"

    Apple has now doubled single thread performance versus the fastest Android phones, that's a pretty astounding achievement no matter how you look at it. An iPhone 8 will probably still be faster than the fastest Android you can buy for Christmas 2020... (If you doubt that, consider that the A9 in my iPhone 6S plus I bought two years ago is still faster in single thread than the fastest Androids you can buy today, and the A10 and A11 have only extended that lead) Will this actually matter though? Well, that depends on what sort of apps people consider important in 2020. I'd wager it matters more than a QHD display or wireless charging...

    1. Naselus

      Re: Noticing something interesting

      "I'd wager it matters more than a QHD display or wireless charging..."

      I really wouldn't, tbh. Because the smart money (along with more or less every market trend) says that high-end mobiles of either flavour are a dying breed, and it really doesn't matter how many billion megapixels Smasung cram into a camera, or how many teraflops Apple manage to crank out of an ARM chip, because by 2020 most users will be on a OnePlus phone that costs under $200 and is 'good enough'.

      I don't think the apps of 2020 will be hugely demanding; in fact, Apple's performance advantage is basically irrelevant, as mid-range Android models will increasingly dictate what baseline specs developers aim for. I doubt that VR or AR are really going to emerge much from toy status (or wearables, for that matter), and if they do, then I very much doubt the mobile phone is going to be the device which it's run through. All that will really matter is 'can I stream Youtube and update my instagram' - much like today.

      As a result, Apple's new chip is impressive, but ultimately it's becoming impressive in the way a high-performance car is impressive. Sure, it CAN go 250mph... but I'm never actually going to use that power, and I can buy one for less than a tenth of the price which still manages the top speed I'm ever going to use it for. The same is entirely true for high-end Samsung, Sony and HTC models - they have dozens of features which are becoming entirely meaningless. Who needs a 4K display on a mobile phone? Or an octa-core monster of a CPU? Or 256GB of storage in an age where most media is going to be streamed?

      The sooner we admit that actually, I'm never going to need to run a friggin' render farm on my mobile, so I don't need a constant quest for more CPU cycles, or that, in fact, watching videos on a mobile phone screen will always be a shitty experience no matter how much you crank up the resolution because the thing is only 5 inches across and not really well-designed for consuming anything longer or more detailed than an email, the better off we'll all be. Hell, maybe then we could try and stretch the battery to last for 2 days.

      1. chr0m4t1c

        Re: Noticing something interesting

        Is that the same "smart money" that's been predicting that for the last ten years?

        Markets have *never* worked like that and likely never will. Yes, the bulk of the market will be at the cheaper end, but there's always room for other price points.

        If it were even slightly true that people just bought the cheapest thing that is "good enough" then every single new car sold this year would be a Dacia Sandero.

        Your "smart money" people sound like they're not very smart at all and they probably don't have any money. Did you meet them down the pub on a Friday night?

        Oh, and by all means go and buy a OnePlus any enjoy owning it if that's what *you* want., there's nothing wrong with that choice any more than someone opting to buy at the other end of the spectrum.

        (Actually, if you're looking for something good enough that's cheap checkout the Archos range, they start at about £50 - new - on Amazon.)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My old Nvidia sheild TV is close to the Apple 10 CPUs, though it should be further behind. But the next integra CPU (announced last year) should be a lot further ahead then the 11 I imagine.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      WTF, Shield TV is WAY behind!

      Per Geekbench, a single core of the A11 just about beats your Shield TV's multicore score!

      http://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/compare/4216188?baseline=4003276

      The A9 in my two year old 6S plus puts it to shame, it isn't even as fast as recent Android flagships. Maybe you're talking about GPU performance or something?

  21. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    Impressive chipset

    I really mean that--impressive specs and kudos to their hardware engineering team.

    ..and I'd consider trading in my Android phone for it if:

    -It had an SD card slot.

    -I didn't have to use iTunes

    -It had filesystem access allowing me to download, store, manage and access files like a normal human being does on a proper computing device instead of having to make do with what apps will allow you or cloud storage.

    -The battery was removable or at least more easily replaceable. (and higher capacity would be nice)

    -It wasn't fragile as a Ming vase like all of its ilk. (and nearly as pricey)

    -It didn't run the IMHO extremely annoying, nagging, attempting to think for you and always getting it wrong iOS operating system full of kitschy features that no one needs. (put a face on an emoji--cute, but really? How about a more usable keyboard for those of us with hands bigger than a child's?)

    (And yeah, a headphone jack would be nice too, and I hope they dumped the Intel radio transceiver chip)

  22. Tom Paine Silver badge

    What's the point?

    Can anyone explain what on earth is the point of 240 FPS video? Says here the human eye / visual cortex can only see the difference up to 45 FPS. Our brains aren't fast enough. (Flies have much faster clock speed. apparently, so can see, process and react to an approaching rolled up newspaper 10x faster than we could. There's a fascinating piece on the BBC news website about it.)

    FWIW I've a 150 quid Motorola G4 here that's indistinguishable to me from any other smartphone in terms of functionality, quality of display, memory, blah blah. No doubt the kids in the playground get as excited about Samsung vs Apple as I did about Acorn vs Commodore, but I'm a grownup now with less need for willywaving. Saves a fortune, too ;>

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: What's the point?

      240 FPS is for recording slow motion video. You can slow it down by a factor 8 and still play at 30FPS.

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