This is faster than the 3rd generation iPad 3 and even the new 2Ghz Intel-powered Motorola RAZR i.
The iPhone 5 is believed to have Apple’s own chip design – which is a first for the company. The cores run ARM-compatible instruction sets, licensed from ARM, but the core design is bespoke. This is a clear strategic move so that Apple can own their own IP and make it harder for competitors to draw performance comparisons.
The CPU runs ~1Ghz but has a ‘wider pipe’ allowing more instructions to be executed in parallel. This gives advantages in terms of heat generated and power consumed, yet still increases performance.
We look forward to publishing the Browsermark score when known.
UPDATE: The iPhone 5 also breaks our current record for the Browsermark benchmark with a score of 189650!