Apple sneaks iPad 2 with 32nm chip into retail
Big battery life boost for mystery machine
Apple has quietly begun shipping a revamped version of the iPad 2 that delivers better battery life than its predecessor, thanks to the use of 32nm chippery in place of a 45nm part.
The new iPad 2 goes by the model name 'iPad2,4'. It's a Wi-Fi only device, its predecessor being the 'iPad 2,1' released in March 2011 .
The difference: a 32nm, 69mm² Apple A5 chip. The original had a 45nm, 122mm² A5.
So far as can be told, Apple was still shipping 45nm versions when it cut the 16GB iPad 2 price to £329, from £399, when it launched the iPad 3.
The new version has begun slipping into the supply chain , website AnandTech discovered. The site's benchmarking suggests the new model delivers between 15.8 per cent - for surfing - and 29.1 per cent - when gaming - better battery life.
The snag: there's no way of seeing whether an iPad 2 is a 2,1 or a 2,4 without opening the box and running software capable of extracting that data from the device.
The white 2,4 appears to be shipping as Apple Part Number MC979LL/A. According to Apple's online store, the white 16GB iPad 2 it is selling is the MC989LL/A. Over here, it's the MC954LL/A. Black units have entirely different model numbers too. But eyeing up part numbers doesn't appear to be a successful way of ID-ing the 32nm machines.
But presumably, as Apple sells out of 2,1 stock, it will be replaced by 2,4 units. ®