Whenever Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) conducts a launch event, many tune in to watch the California-based company unveil its latest offerings. And the event held last Tuesday was no different. Among the new products released, one device stole the show ; a special 10th anniversary model called the iPhone X.
Every time a new version of the iPhone is unveiled, expect Apple to introduce something new with its flagship device. Never mind if that “new” is a big one or just a minor upgrade over the previous version. The iPhone X, however, did sport a slew of new and interesting features. There’s the bezel-less front without the home button where the usual LCD display has been replaced with OLED. The new Face ID and “animojis” (animated emojis) that act on the user’s facial features. But what makes the iPhone X stand out lies in its interior: a super-fast A11 CPU (central processing unit) plus a dedicated GPU (graphics processing unit), which is a first for Apple.
Let’s discuss the new processor. The A11 “bionic neural engine” chip is a 6-core processor, broken down into two high-performance cores (25% faster than the A10 of iPhone 7 and 7Plus) which do the heavy tasks plus the remaining four high-efficiency cores. A11 joins the list of in-house processors designed by Apple who started this practice with the A4 chip in 2010. According to Phil Schiller, senior VP for worldwide marketing, the A11 can perform 600 billion operations per second. Experts, however, are unsure if the new chip will indeed bring significant improvements in processing speed over the A10, which is already no slouch itself.
The real edge of A11 though lies in its capacity to enhance the AI (artificial intelligence) features of the iPhone. Apple was first in the area of speech recognition with its “intelligent assistant” Siri but the tech giant has been in catch-up mode with its competitors in the field of AI. Both Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home have already surpassed Siri in the battle of digital assistants. With A11 as an AI-enabled processor, Apple can now integrate more advanced capabilities into its devices, particularly in autonomous cars and gadgets that run on augmented reality.
It is also due to A11 that the new biometric system of Face ID was made possible. The face recognition technology is claimed by Apple to be more secure than the fingerprint sensor technology Touch ID that was used in earlier models. Schiller himself said that the chances that an impostor can fool the Face ID stand at a paltry 1 in 1 million. iPhone X was also able to get rid off the home button, a signature feature of the iPhone for a decade, thus making the bezel-less screen design aspect possible.
Apple also pairs A11 with the custom GPU to boost the iPhone’s augmented reality functions. Developers can now create applications with the ARKit framework that is part of the soon-to-be-released iOS11. The GPU can smoothly run these applications to give the users an impressive experience. The GPU will also extend hours of battery use, an issue that has been hogging iPhone users for years. Having a specialized graphics chip on board gives the main chip less load, which extends battery life.
The iPhone X, which at $999 is Cupertino’s most expensive handset to date, costing $300 more than the iPhone 8 and $200 more than the iPhone 8 Plus, was released simultaneously with fellow premium smartphones iPhone 8 and 8 Plus but iPhone 10’s introduction is revolutionary in the sense that it represents Apple’s vision of the future. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook quipped, “Ten years later, it is only fitting that we are here in this place, on this day to reveal a product that will set the path for technology for the next decade.” Overall, the iPhone X is the most significant upgrade in the iPhone lineup.
The gadget will be available from November 3-nearly two months later than expected.