What it is: Apple released the new A11 processor along with their own graphics processing unit.
Apple recently broke off collaboration with Imagination Technologies, which was creating graphics processing units for mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad. During the recent announcement of the latest iPhone, Apple quietly introduced their own graphics processing unit, which means Apple has long been working on a graphics processor for years and finally felt that their own efforts surpassed anything Imagination Technologies could offer.
One huge problem with relying on third-party products is that those products are generic. Anyone can buy and use them too so Apple doesn’t want the iPhone to contain the exact same components as rival Android smartphones and tablets. More importantly, Apple wants to optimize their graphics processor so it runs faster and more efficiently than anything rivals can offer. That puts rival products at a severe disadvantage because they must use less efficient, slower components. This is partly the reason why Android smartphones tend to offer more RAM and faster processors, yet still run slower than the iPhone. When you dump third-party components together, it’s difficult to optimize them to work together.
The fact that Apple is now designing their own processors simply means that Apple will continue focusing on its own hardware to make it better than any rivals could offer. This makes the typical laundry list of technical specifications meaningless because if you compare to smartphones and one has more RAM than another, it seems like the one with more RAM should be superior. But in actual practice if the one with more RAM runs slower, then it’s actually inferior. The fact that some Android devices need twice as much RAM to run slower than an iPhone with half as much RAM clearly highlights the inefficiency of relying on third-party products.
Other than Samsung, who else can make their own hardware? LG, HTC, Huawei, and others cannot. That relegates them to the relying on third-party products and selling their products for the lowest possible price to gain customers.
The choice is clear. You can pay more to get more with an iPhone, or you can pay less and get less with most rival Android devices. You can even pay just as much for an iPhone and still get an Android device that’s not as good as the iPhone, which makes no sense at all.
As Apple continues to improve its processors and as rivals continue relying on the same components that aren’t as good, the gap in hardware quality will continue to grow. Do you want an optimized device or do you want a less optimized device? The less optimized device is fine if you’re willing to pay a lower price, but makes no sense if you pay just as much as an iPhone. Toss in the optimization Apple can do with iOS to work with specific hardware and how Google cannot optimize Android to work with any particular hardware and the optimization between the iPhone and Android devices grows even larger.
Android gets the job done and if that’s all you want, it will work just fine. However, if you want the best, then the choice is clear. You want an iPhone.