Reports Claim Next iPhone Processor 31% Faster and/or 64-Bit

The Apple Crystal BallRumors and reports of Apple's next-generation processor for its iOS devices are spreading fast. Over the weekend, Fox News anchor Clayton Morris tweeted that unnamed sources told him Apple's unannounced A7 processor are "very fast," and 9to5Mac followed that with a report claiming that Apple has been testing 64-bit versions of the A7 chip.

Clayton Morris's tweet:

Mark Gurman built on that tweet with an article claiming that some of Apple's iPhone 5S prototypes have been running 64-bit versions of the A7 processor. The A6 and previous generations of Apple's AX line of processors have been 32-bit chips, and a 64-bit version would allow the processor to address more RAM.

This, in turn, would improve, "animations, transparencies, and other iOS 7 graphical effects," making them render more smoothly.

Testing doesn't necessarily mean that Apple will ship a 64-bit version of the A7 with the iPhone 5S, and it's important to remember that Apple is always testing something. In addition, it's impossible to know how much of Clayton Morris's tweet—all 115 characters of it—pertains to a shipping product.

Is it likely that someone with a leaked iPhone 5S really told Mr. Morris that? Absolutely. Does that necessarily mean that the person knew what he or she was talking about or how to measure processor speeds? No. Was it a prototype similar to the ones Mark Gurman mentioned or one of the umpteen different production units that have already made this year's Foxconn lines closely resemble a sieve? Who knows?

It stands to reason, though, that Apple would make the iPhone 5S and the next generation iPad as fast as it can, and a 31 percent speed increase would certainly be nifty. A 31 percent increase would be a significant increase, but our armchair quarterbacking skills say that it's within the realm of possibility.

So let's keep our fingers crossed that one or more of these rumors ends up being the real deal. We'll know soon enough. Apple is expected to hold a media event on September 10th to announce the iPhone 5S and a lower-cost iPhone 5C.