A7

Daniel Eran Dilger: Who says Apple ain't innovating any more?

September 15, 2013: 8:32 AM ET

Making the case that Apple's innovation engine is still humming along.

Apple's Phil Schiller with the A7. Photo: Tablet PC Review.

Apple's Phil Schiller with the A7. Photo: Tablet PC Review.

FORTUNE -- AppleInsider's Daniel Eran Dilger filed a fascinating piece Saturday suggesting that Samsung was caught by surprise when Apple (AAPL) announced Tuesday that the iPhone 5S would be powered not by the 32-bit A6 system-on-a-chip that Samsung manufactures, but by a new, top-secret 1-billion-transistor 64-bit A7 chip.

Not only did Apple manage to keep its No. 1 semiconductor supplier in the dark about the new system chip, Dilger writes, but it seems to have handed the business to one of Samsung's chief rivals, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSM).

It's a long piece -- 4,300 words -- too long to expect Apple's denigrators to read much more than the first few paragraphs.

That's a pity, because about half-way through, Dilger makes as strong a case as I've seen lately that Apple's much-maligned innovation engine is still humming along.

As a service to those who didn't make it to the middle -- or who missed the piece entirely -- here are Dilger's lead-in and his main bullet points:

It turns out that while the tech media spent most of 2013 complaining that Apple 'wasn't innovating,' Apple was...

  • Secretly developing its new Mac Pro supercomputer
  • Perfecting its Authentech-based Touch ID technology
  • Completing iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks
  • Bringing an entirely new 64-bit mobile architecture into production ahead of the world's leading chip designers and foundries
  • As nearly a side project, spending billions to build out a series of new iCloud data centers
  • And Apple retail palaces like the new Stanford 2 store Cook drew attention to
  • As well as the new Apple Campus 2
  • On top of all this, it was also financing the construction of a multibillion dollar new chip foundry with TSMC capable of producing advanced new 20nm components.

Link: After its disastrous Exynos 5 Octa, Samsung may have lost Apple's A7 contract to TSMC

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