Apple’s iPhone 12 launch is almost here and, while we know almost everything (both good and bad), it seems that the company did have a big surprise up its sleeve. Until now.  

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Newly leaked benchmarks for Apple’s groundbreaking A14 Bionic chipset have revealed drastically better performance than expected, following worrying results for the iPhone 12-destined hardware last month. But could it be dragged down by a problem of Apple’s own making? 

Picked up by popular industry insider Ice Universe, the A14 Bionic chip was quietly tested on Geekbench receiving single-core and multi-core scores of 1583 and 419, respectively. This equates to 20% higher single-core and circa 30% higher multi-core scores than the A13 Bionic inside the iPhone 11. For context, this blows away the Snapdragon 865+ (973 single-core, 3346 multi-core) used in current Android flagships. 

That said, there is one area of concern. The test scores come from Apple’s upcoming iPad Air 4, which was the first device to be announced with the A14 Bionic. Given this iPad’s large battery capacity, the A14 can run unhindered but the same may not be true for the iPhone 12 range. This year Apple has chosen to significantly downgrade their batteries compared to the iPhone 11 line-up, so it remains to be seen whether the A14 Bionic in these phones must run in a lower power state to conserve power. 

Either way, the A14 Bionic (which is also the world’s first 5nm chipset)  looks set to be the shining light in an otherwise fairly disappointing iPhone upgrade year, which brings incremental design changes, iPhone 12 Pro Max-centric upgrades and price increases, despite the removal of both EarPods and a wall charger from the box. 

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