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By Jason Snell for Macworld
Last week, Apple announced the new A15 processor in a peculiar way: by comparing its new chip to the Android competition, rather than the A14 that powered last year’s generation of iPhones. We were all left to try to infer the speed of the A15 based on Apple’s claims, and wondering if the company was obscuring the performance improvements in the A15 because they weren’t particularly impressive.
In the past week, things have gotten a lot clearer. Tuesday brought the first reviews of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro and on Wednesday I got a look at what the iPad mini has to offer. Now we’ve got the cold, hard facts about the A15—and it’s more complicated and interesting than I guessed last week. The net result? Apple is making one chip but using it in three different ways, and while some aspects of the A15 upgrade aren’t particularly exciting, others are quite impressive. Systems-on-chips made at a scale of five nanometers are complicated. Who knew?