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A Dual Core MyTouch HD – Fact or Fiction?

This argument is getting old. Seriously. I think I have been disassembling this story for three months now, and it keeps coming back to touch me in my sleep. Dual Core processors in an Android device, the bedtime friend of every mobile gearhead in the world, has been depressingly  dragged through the mud over and over again. Well everybody, I finally have the self confidence to march to the police and get that restraining order. It’s time to make sure these rumors can’t hurt us anymore. We chased it away with the G2, so now let’s get this MyTouch HD the freedom it deserves.

T-Mobile is looking like it’s going to have an IMPRESSIVE lineup for this Christmas season. We knew from the leaked roadmap that there would be five Android devices released before Christmas, and so far only the Charm has arrived from that list. We’ve seen the people pleasing G2, with it’s name worthy keyboard and specs. Next up on the charts seems to be the MyTouchHD. The MTHD has had it’s fair share of Mr.Blurrycam’s as well as a handful of sales sheet images, but there’s not been much in-the-hand images for either phone. The speculation for both of these phones has ranged from being angry at it’s underwhelming specs, to being blown away by it’s seven screens and tripple quad-core processor array. For the most part the G2 has been straightened out, but a recent leak of a confirmed internal document from T-MoNews set the Dual-Corians, as they shall be referred to henceforth, on fire with renewed purpose. I’m not sure about anyone else, but I actually READ the document, and for some reason, the words I read don’t seem to be the same as everyone elses. Let’s take a look.

I don’t know about any of you, but MY text under that phone reads “1GHz Dual Processor”. I don’t actually see the word CORE anywhere. Is this significant? Of course it is. This is either a Sales Aid or a Press document, both of which are heavily scrutinized by PR and Marketing people paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to make every single word on a page significant and intentional. The page clearly saus Dual Processor though, which DOES have to mean something. So let’s get the possibilities in a row!

Possibility 1 – Dedicated GPU

One of the “Key Features” on that document is it’s impressively undefined HD Sharing capability. this could just be a HDMI dock kind of thing, or it could by related to DLNA, or it could be something else altogether. It’s extremely undefined, and the paragraph describing the feature is just marketing drivel about how cool it will be. Since HDMI out is not new, let’s assume this is something just a little bit different, and focus on why this would be considered significant. Clearly T-Mobile thinks this feature is something no one else has. This could be explained by a dedicated GPU. Rather than an all in one like we’ve seen with every other phone, let’s assume that in order to get this HD experience, HTC slid a separate video processing chip in here. This is not unheard of, we’ve seen devices set up like this already. the Samsung Galaxy Tab has a 1GHz processor, as well as a dedicated PowerVR SGX540 . A solution similar to this would technically be “Dual Processors” and still not risk the space-time continuum being torn asunder… or even worse, me being wrong.

Possibility 2 – Two separate processors

Mobile processors are insanely small. It’s not unlikely that someone made a logic board capable of handling two critically underclocked processors to accomplish the “1GHz Dual Processor” solution. However, since there has been little news regarding such logic boards even being made, this is just about as likely as a dual-core system being released before 2011, so let’s skate right by this one.

Possibility 3 – I’m wrong.

Wikipedia defines a Dual Processor system as both a system with two processors AND a dual-core system. Wikipedia also says Stephen Colbert lives on top of a herd of elephants and is the Queen of the Jersey Shore (or at least it used to, but that’s kind of my point). It is possible that a marketing person took this same meaning and used those words as a result. There is staggering evidence against this possibility though. The First being that the two ready-to-ship dual core mobile processors are made by Nvidia and Rockchip – neither of which have been in any recent HTC devices. Second, we’ve unofficially been given statements from a T-Mobile high up, and representatives from T-Mobile at IFA just two weeks ago, that there wil be no “true dual core” devices until at the earliest Q1 2011. This is just plain unlikely.

Here’s my biggest gripe with the Dual-Corians: don’t you want better battery life? Don’t you want a stable operating system? Don’t you want app development to keep going at it’s current breakneck pace – or even get better? Dual Core potentially affects ALL three of those things. You think Dual Core systems with be BETTER on battery life, or do you think it will be a fun game to unplug your phone from your house charger and sprint to your car when you want to go somewhere to make sure your phone stays powered on. Remember the early days of 64-bit Windows? I still cry myself to sleep sometimes just thinking about that dark time. In order to take advantage of both cores, a similar schism will have to occur. What about our beloved app developers? You think the guy who made 5,000 flag live wallpapers is going to have the ability to optimize for a dual core environment?

Bottom line is screaming “MOAR MOAR MOAR” is not the same as getting it. A Dual Core phone right now would be bad for the community and for the OS, because the tech hasn’t taken the OS out to dinner yet. Come back when we have a 2.3 Dual Core beast in 2011, and I will be right there with you!