One of the notable aspects about the recently unveiled Apple iPad is its speed. From what we can gather from early reviews of the device, the A4 processing chip on the iPad enables the applications to be opened "instantly" and its response time is seen to be much faster than even iPhone 3GS, let alone the older iPhone models (as you would expect from a tablet computer).
As you would already know, the iPad's A4 CPU chip was built in-house thanks to the technology that Cupertino got access to through its acquisition of PA Semi back in April 2008. Apple says the A4 chip can clock up to 1 GHz of processor speed; much faster than the 833 MHz Samsung chip that is present on the iPhone 3GS and nearly double the 620 MHz chip that operates iPhone 3G.
However, this does not portray the complete picture. The chip on the iPhones have traditionally been clocked down in order to compromise speed for battery life. However, with processing speed becoming one of the crucial differentiators among smartphones of late, it will be interesting how Apple chooses to address this issue in the upcoming iPhone models.
As folks from TUAW note, Apple's successful incorporation of the A4 chip on the iPad could mean that we may expect this technology to be made available on the next generation of iPhone as well. Having said that, battery life is still a crucial factor and that would mean smaller devices like the iPhone might not come with the same processing speed as that on the iPad.
TUAW speculates an A4 variant could make its way to the next generation iPhone – iPhone 4G. But it is equally likely that we see iPad's A4 chip underclocked to perform at close to 800 MHz. The latter is more likely as that could also save Apple on additional design costs. Though an 800 MHz iPhone will be slower than the iPad, it will still be nearly twice as fast as the iPhone 3G and that could then be the real talking point when iPhone 4G is unveiled.
What do you think?