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Analysts predict Apple may re-build iOS to work on iDevice’s new, faster processors.

February 13, 2013

Analysts predict Apple may re-build iOS to work on iDevice’s new, faster processors. Based on the age of iOS and personnel changes made last year, this is a Good Bet.

There are a lot of predictions being floated about what Apple’s going to do in 2013: an iWatch? An iTV? Plastic iPhone? Apple TV SDK? A note from an analyst from Jefferies published Wednesday contains many of these predictions, but one idea about a move the company might make this year sounds plausible: Apple may make BIG changes to its iOS that will permit the iOS software to work better on mobile devices with the more powerful processors Apple is developing.

Peter Misek of Jefferies Securities notes, "We think Apple plans to re-architect iOS to utilize more cores to better compete with Samsung. Also, we believe the way iOS interoperates with iCloud, gestures controls, and advertising will be substantially upgraded." Further "I’m not sure about those specific things, but I do think big changes are coming to iOS for a couple reasons."

While iOS has seen many new iOS releases since its debut in 2007, there have been few major changes. The arrival of the App Store in 2008, and push notifications in 2009 were the last big adjustments in how the iOS software works.

Consistency is good for users, and it’s been working for Apple. But iOS was developed at a time when mobile processors were much slower with limited as compared to today’s processors and memory configurations, iOS was no doubt built to operate with those parameters. At some point, as the analyst notes, iOS will eventually need to revisions, back-end changes, to keep up with improved mobile processors as they become faster and more capable.

Scott Forstall is gone, who lead in iOS and Software Development. This is another sign that change may be coming. From the first iOS release to the debut of iOS 6, Scott Forstall was forcefully guiding development. CEO Tim Cook dismissed Forstall, this former head of iOS Software, last fall for reasons related to the Apple Maps debacle and conflicts with other Senior Managers. Mansfield for example, retired recently and decided to come back, once he learned that Scott was gone.

However, it is believed this Manager change will have ramifications for iOS, not just with Maps. Both the software element and the engineering of iOS have a new Team Leaders: Jony Ive is now in charge of the Human Interface group, and Craig Federighi was promoted to lead iOS Engineering along with OSX Engineering.

New managers often want to come in and make changes,perhaps pent-up changes, Forstall refused. However, in this case, as the iOS software ages, and early iOS designs incorporated some skeuomorphic elements, which Jony Ive and others never liked.

As competitors refine their products and hardware continues to improve, changes are in the wind for iOS.

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