In all likelihood, the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max will be the only ones to benefit from the A16 chip. A change of strategy for Apple, which usually offers the same SoC across its entire range.
Apple will present the iPhone 14 this fall and many developments threaten the range. The most emblematic change is the end of the mini model, which must give way to a Max version. This choice would allow Apple to better position itself against Android models, while its mini has never been able to convince. This has also been expected for several months only two of the four iPhone 14s benefit from the A16 Bionic chip. An important change for the American manufacturer.
Every year, the apple brand offers us a new in-house SoC to accompany its new smartphones. The company’s ability to highlight its progress and compare itself with competitors, albeit with a finesse in 2021. For the first time, Apple launched two different variants of the A15 Bionic with one version with a 5-core GPU (iPhone 13 Pro) and the other with a 4-core graphics part (iPhone 13).
In 2022, the A16 Bionic will have to tip the tip of its nose to equip certain models. According to TrendForce, the new chip will be reserved for iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. These smartphones, which are scheduled to be released in the fall, will be accompanied by iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max (6.7 inches); which will retain an A15 Bionic SoC. This is not the first time that this possibility has been mentioned with the insistence.
Last March, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple would reserve the A16 chip for Pro models. Information that the 9to5Mac site was able to verify and confirm, i.e. three fairly reliable sources.
Only two Pro models would upgrade to the A16 processor, while the 14 and 14 Max remain the A15. All four new models will likely come with 6GB of RAM, with the difference being LPDDR 5 (14 Pro & 14 Pro Max) vs. LPDDR 4X (14 & 14 Max). https://t.co/tHcszIz6gX
– ing 錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) March 13, 2022
Should we be concerned about this new strategy?
As we suggested in March, this change of direction would mark a turning point in the history of the iPhone. However, it would not be illogical to see that Apple wants to distinguish between these “Pro” and “classic” series; especially in a market disrupted by the component crisis.
Analysts also believe that this shortcoming lies behind Apple’s decision to reserve its supply chain for the production of the most expensive models. Moreover, China’s “zero covid” policy also complicates Apple’s ambitions.
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The new chip will take place on the flagship models, that does not mean that entry level will not evolve. It is reported that iPhone 14 and 14 Max will send 6 GB LPDDR4X RAMagainst 4 GB on the iPhone 13. This increase in the amount of RAM would not be trivial and would make it possible to offer “high-end” version of the current SoC A15 Bionic. As explained earlier, there are two different versions of the A15 chip today. The first with its quad-core GPU equips models with 4 GB of RAM, such as the iPhone 13. The second offers a five-core GPU for the iPhone 13 Pro with 6 GB of RAM.
It is this last variant that was to take place in the iPhone 14. Apple could therefore make something new out of “old”which highlights a slight improvement in performance.
As the circumstances are, it must also be taken into account that The A15 chip is very far from being exceeded. It is still among the benchmarks in the market and will remain a high-end SoC in 2022. Finally, the latest rumors ensure to A16 chip would still be engraved in 5 nm and would not lead to significant improvements. It would be necessary to wait for the A17 and the passage to 3 nanometers to see a remarkable development.