At this time, we are pretty sure that we know what the year's iPhone models are going to look like. We expect to see a 6.5-inch OLED model, a 5.8-inch follow-up for iPhone X and a 6.1 inch LCD model with the same edge-to-edge design as iPhone X. What we still do not know is what Apple will do to upgrade the Internet to its iPhone line in 2018, but on Monday Macworld put together a compelling set of predictions for the new models.
Before moving on, it's worth noting that these are predictions based on trends from previous years and what we know about technological advances, not a report based on leaks or any of that type. There are just as many advances as Apple can do while still keeping costs down, so if this really is a "S year", these predictions are likely to be cautious.
Probably, Apple will launch the A1
In other words, if Apple were to produce exactly the same A11 Bionic chip with the 7nm process, it could be about 40 percent less and use either 40 percent less power at the same speed or run by 20 percent higher clock speed in the same power. You can be sure they are best-case characters.
As Macworld's Jason Cross notes, Apple will not release the same chip with a new process. It is going to build a more advanced chip that will surpass the 2017 chip. The question is now how far Apple will be able to push performance with its new chip. Fortunately, it's not hard to discover a pattern in recent years.
To give Apple sticks with the same six-core design (two powerful, four energy efficient), Geekbench's 4 single-core score will again increase in a linear fashion that probably increases from A11's 4217 to around 5000 or so. This should amount to up to 20% increase in performance. In terms of multi-core scores, it is worth noting that the A11 made a major step last year (almost three times jumped from 2015 to 2016), so it is unlikely that we will see the same improvement again. Cross explains why it will not be the case:
[…] the A11 has made a major architectural change in the way multi-threaded performance works. It introduced a new second generation performance controller that for the first time allowed the two major cores and the four small cores to work simultaneously. It had a large impact on multi-core performance. The A12 can have faster kernels and may even be more effective when it comes to using all of them at the same time, but it will not have the advantage of suddenly using more of them simultaneously than ever before.
Therefore, we expect a 25 to 30 percent improvement in multi-core performance, giving us a Geekbench 4 score near 13,000.
The article draws a wide range of interesting conclusions based on trend lines and data from previous years, but perhaps the most relevant to random observers is related to battery life. While the transition to a 7nm process may potentially result in better battery life, the increased power of a more complicated A12 chip will probably ignore it. Having said that, the next iPhone models can have better battery life while sleeping as older models. So you will not be able to surf the web anymore, but it may take longer for your phone to die while idle.