Apple today announced two new iPhones, the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c.
The announcements were largely what people expected Apple to introduce – a more powerful top-of-the-line iPhone and a more competitively priced iPhone.
The real news, though – and what makes today’s announcements relevant to musicians – is the state of performance on the iOS platform. The flagship iPhone 5s promises significant performance improvements – 2x the CPU performance of the previous model and an impressive 40x the original iPhone.
Apple characterizes the performance of the iPhone 5s as ‘desktop class’. There’s clearly some hyperbole there – but there’s also some truth to it, too. The new iPhone is built on a 64-bit architecture, even as popular desktop DAWs are being updated to 64-bit designs.
Here’s what Apple has to say about performance on the 5s:
The all-new A7 chip in iPhone 5s brings 64-bit desktop-class architecture to a smartphone for the first time. With up to twice the CPU and graphics performance, almost everything you do on iPhone 5s is faster and better than ever, from launching apps and editing photos to playing graphic-intensive games—all while delivering great battery life.
Apple also engineered iOS 7 and all the built-in apps to maximize the performance of the A7 chip. iPhone 5s is the best mobile gaming device with access to hundreds of thousands of games from the App Store, the A7 chip’s 64-bit architecture and support for OpenGL ES version 3.0. iPhone 5s delivers incredibly rich and complex visual effects, previously only possible on Macs, PCs and gaming consoles.
While Apple may talk about ‘desktop-class’ performance on its new iPhone, it’s still a mobile device, not a desktop. The challenge to Apple and iOS developers is to demonstrate compelling new applications that both take advantage of the added power and make sense in a mobile context.