For several years, Apple has been steadily designing more and more of the chips powering its iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watches. This creates a better user experience and helps trump rivals. Recently the company got a fresh incentive to go all-in on silicon: revelations that microprocessors with components designed by Intel Corp., Arm Holdings Plc and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. are vulnerable to hacking.
That original â€œsystem-on-a-chipâ€ has since been succeeded by increasingly powerful processors. Today, Apple packs its devices with custom components that process artificial intelligence tasks, track your steps, power game graphics, secure Face ID or Touch ID data, run the Apple Watch, pair AirPods to your phone and help make Macs work the way they do. The result: a chip powerhouse that could one day threaten the dominance of Qualcomm Inc. and even, eventually, Intel.
Apple’s chip business really puts the company in a unique position. No other phone or PC maker can rely on such a powerful chip division, with the exception of Samsung, but Samsung’s own ARM chips are nowhere near as powerful as Apple’s. Assuming Apple manages to turn their chip prowess into real-world advantages for users, it’ll be hard for competitors to catch up.
Benchmarks are basically meaningless because they are incredibly easy to manipulate. It is mostly a matter of overclocking the cores and killing background processes to get a huge (temporary) increase in performance. In the real world this causes overheating, very poor battery life and a largely unusable device.
In realistic scenarios Apple devices perform about the same as the other flagships.Some manufacturers (e.g. HTC) use very conservative settings which make their devices appear slower.
Edited 2018-01-31 02:35 UTC