Every week there are new rumors about Apple’s iPhone 14 series. This will not be formalized until September, but we already have almost everything about these new iPhones, thanks to unofficial sources.
Earlier, for example, sources had raised the possibility that on the iPhone 14 series, the new A16 Bionic chip will be reserved for Pro models, while the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max could be satisfied with the A15 chip released in 2021.
This rumor had aroused a lot of reservations. However, today, it is more and more probable. Indeed, the info is corroborated in a recent publication by TrendForce.
As a reminder, this rumor was launched by analyst Ming Chi Kuo in March.
“Only two Pro models would switch to the A16 processor, while the 14 and 14 Max would remain on the A15. All four new models will likely ship with 6GB of RAM, the difference being LPDDR 5 (14 Pro and 14 Pro Max) versus LPDDR 4X (14 and 14 Max)”had published the analyst.
And 9to5Mac also says it was able to independently verify this information. At the moment, it’s unclear why Apple would want to deprive the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max of the new A16 chip. But it is possible that this has a link with the shortage of semiconductors, and that the firm has decided to prioritize the most high-end models.
Normally, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro should also have a new design on the front, on which the notch could be replaced by a bubble and a pill. On the other hand, it is rumored that these Pro models would be equipped with a 48 megapixel camera, which would be an important development for the Apple ecosystem.
Few differences between A15 chip and A16 chip
Of course, we would prefer that all iPhone 14 models have the same chip. But even if Apple equips the iPhone 14 with the A15 chip and the iPhone 14 Pro with a newer chip, the performance gap between these two models should not be very large.
Indeed, in a more recent publication, Ming Chi Kuo suggests that the A16 chip will be based on the same technology as its predecessor: 5 nm engraving. According to the analyst, TSMC has already indicated that it will start producing 3nm etched chips in 2023.
According to TSMC’s public announcements & the roadmap (source: https://t.co/EgzC8D1Wys):
1. Significantly better N3 & N4P won’t start mass production until 2023.
2. N5P & N4 are the latest technologies Apple can use for 2H22 products.
3. N4 has no advantages vs. N5P. https://t.co/k3OCX5EqjJ pic.twitter.com/kmzQEyxRkN
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) May 29, 2022
So the technology shouldn’t be available for Apple products until next year. And instead of switching to 4 nm engraving, already used by processors for android, Apple would prefer to wait for 3 nm engraving.
And by the way, it’s not just iPhone chips, but also Apple Silicon chips for Macs. The M2 chip, which should equip the next MacBook Air, would use the same 5 nm engraving as the M1 chip of previous models.
In any case, if Apple continues to use 5 nm engraving, we should not expect significant improvements in performance and energy efficiency.
But of course, as usual, these are still just rumors. And therefore, caution remains in order while waiting for the formalization of the products mentioned by the Cupertino company.