The most recent in a slew of iPhone 5 part leaks shows two views of what's reportedly the next-generation iPhone logic board, including one with the shields removed. What makes this so interesting is that it appears from the photos, if they're accurate, that Apple will be using the Apple A6 designation for the iPhone 5's system-on-a-chip (SoC).
Apple previously introduced the Apple A4 SoC, their first in-house chipset design, with the original iPad, and carried a version of it over to the iPhone 4. Apple then introduced the Apple A5 with the iPad 2, and again carried a version of it over to the iPhone 4S. With the new iPad, however, instead of going to an Apple A6 SoC, Apple added a quad-core GPU to the Apple A5 and called it the A5X. That led to speculation that Apple might create a new Apple A5 series SoC for the iPhone 5 as well. Not so, according to the images below, which we've enhanced the image a bit to make out the text better:
Not going with an Apple A5X SoC, at least the way it's currently engineered for the new iPad, makes a lot of sense. The primary purpose of the Apple A5X chipset was to support the massive 2048x1536 Retina display that was brand new to the 3rd generation iPad platform. The iPhone went Retina back in 2010 with the iPhone 4, so that load is already taken care of. The iPhone 5, according to rumors, will have a slightly bigger 1136x640, 4-inch, 16:9 display, but nothing that would require an A5X-style chipset. It seems more likely Apple would go with the same type of general CPU and GPU performance improvements in the iPhone 5 that they delivered with the iPhone 4S.
At the end of the day, what Apple calls the iPhone 5 chipset is a branding decision, but since Apple controls both the software and hardware, there's no need to simply throw silicone or cores at someone else's code. By going with something other than a repackaged Apple A5X, whether or not it's called the Apple A6, it could deliver just exactly the performance vs. power balance Apple wants for their next generation phone.
Other than the processor you can see a Qualcomm chipset on the main board. That comes as no surprise. There are also different connector positions for the digitizer, LCD, and other components, which is consistent with previously leaked front panels.
In addition, the battery connector looks a bit wider than the current iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S battery connector. It's hard to be sure given the quality of the image, but it could be an indication of a larger battery, which would also be consistent with previously leaked parts.
Given the larger display, rumors of 4G LTE networking, along with space-saving changes like the rumored smaller Dock connector, nano-SIM, and in-cell display, a higher capacity battery certainly seems likely.
Considering the horrible quality of the image, it's always possible that the A6 designation or other features could have been Photoshopped into place. (Seriously, spies, invest in good quality cameras and lights!)
Regardless, iMore's information puts us less than a few weeks away from an official announcement and release. Until then, the parts leaks will no doubt continue, as will our analysis of them.