Apple already working on iPhone 6, 7, 8 processors
There is no news of when the chips will be produced or for which devices, but there is much speculation.
Apple (AAPL) is already working on the next-generation processors for several future smartphones.
While the A7 processor is expected to be introduced with the iPhone 5S (and may cut Samsung out of the picture), Apple is reportedly working with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSM) to build A8, A9 and A9X processors as well.
According to DigiTimes, TSMC and its IC design service partner, Global UniChip, have "secured a three-year agreement with Apple to supply foundry services for the next A-series chips built using 20nm, 16nm and 10nm process nodes."
Interestingly, the report claims that the A8 processor will go into "small volume" production in July 2013, suggesting that Apple may be planning to bring more power to the iPad 5.
The A8 processor could also be earmarked for iDevices not currently in the marketplace, such as a larger iPhone.
There has been some speculation that Apple may one day replace Intel (INTC) processors with its own chips, but it is unlikely that the A8 will be powerful enough -- or released soon enough -- to accomplish that task.
Thus far, Apple has made no effort to replace Intel in 2013. Intel chips appear in the refreshed MacBook Air and are currently being added to the forthcoming Mac Pro revision. They could also be found within the revised iMac released last fall.
The A8 or A9 processor may also be in development for a next-gen Apple TV. This would provide the device with enough power to begin running high-end apps. It may not pave the way for an Apple TV version of Call of Duty: Ghosts, but should allow for a more advanced version of Angry Birds.
However, the A8 chip will most likely be reserved for an iPhone -- either a larger and more powerful iPhone (a Galaxy Note III competitor, perhaps?) or the iPhone 6.
While the A8 processor may go into production this year, DigiTimes' sources claim that the A9 and A9X processors will not be produced until the end of the third quarter of 2014. This suggests that Apple's schedule is already set in stone -- and will look a lot like 2013.
Instead of releasing products throughout the year (as it has done in the past), Apple has created a bit of a drought in 2013. No new iDevices have been unveiled or released since October 2013. The next iPhone is not expected to be introduced before August or September -- nearly one year after the iPad Mini arrived in stores.
By holding A9 and 9X production until the latter part of 2014, Apple may be planning a similar strategy for the coming year.
Thus far, that strategy has worked as well. The iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 have continued to set new sales records nearly every quarter since they were released.
More from Benzinga
Coming next year: iPhone subscriptions. The new edition in your mailbox by the 5th of each and every month.
The only problem is, How does one find the will to live from the 6th until the 5th of the next month?
Never owned a I-phone and never will.
Why would you write that all of these phones are in the works. Why not just skip 6 and 7 at this point and come out with eight. Why make your customer buy every phone to get to eight at this point. #6 should be the only one mentioned. Now there are no suprises left.
I wouldn't trade my nokia 920 for a iphone 15 let alone a 6, 7 or 8
Same old design, look nothing really change since i3...and the only thing that really change is the numb...
Apple know that their phone is suck...
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
As geopolitical tensions threaten to spin out of control, investors are wondering how best to position their portfolios for the global turmoil.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.