Apple could take one of several approaches with the next iPhone, McCarron said, including using either the A5 or A5X design and having the chip made on the more power-efficient 28-nm process.
"For phones in particular ... there's a lot of incentive to use the latest process," he said.
Ahead of Wednesday's announcement, there was speculation that Apple might use a quad-core processor in its new tablet. But the decision to stick with a dual-core chip was a sound one, analysts said. There are questions about whether current software is ready to take advantage of four cores, and chip makers including Texas Instruments have stuck with dual-core ARM processors for now for that reason.
Most of the existing software for Apple devices wasn't designed for a four-core CPU, so going with a dual-core chip made sense, McCarron said. By comparison, graphics performance scales fairly well across more cores and is quite well-abstracted by operating systems.
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