The iPad 2’s A5 Chip Rumored for iPhone 5

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Can you hear that? It’s the sound of the rumor mill moving from one Apple product to the next.

With the launch of Apple’s iPad 2 a day away, speculation now turns to the iPhone 5 — or whatever it will be called. According to Boy Genius Report, the next iPhone will run on the same A5 chip that powers the latest iPad. The rumor is based on code spotted in iOS 4.3 that uses the same processor codename when referring to both the iPad 2 and an unidentified future device.

Apple’s A5 chip has a 1 GHz dual-core processor, which in terms of tech specs is on par with cutting-edge Android smartphones such as Motorola’s Atrix 4G. The extra processing core is like a second brain, allowing the phone or tablet to handle more tasks at once. Apple’s website claims that the A5 is noticeably faster than single-core processors when moving between apps, multitasking, making video calls, surfing the web and playing games.

The use of an A5 chip in the iPhone 5 wouldn’t be a huge surprise. The chip’s predecessor, the A4, debuted in Apple’s first-generation iPad and went on to power the iPhone 4. And with competing smartphones moving to dual-core processors such as Nvidia’s Tegra 2, Apple won’t want to fall behind on performance.

Of course, the processor alone doesn’t paint a very clear picture of the iPhone 5. Other rumors have suggested that the phone will have a 4-inch display — up from the iPhone 4’s 3.5-inch screen — and an aluminum backing instead of the existing model’s glass pane. There’s also that whole racket about an iPhone Nano. It’s a little too early to put much stock in any of those rumors, but the A5 seems like a safe bet.