Reports suggest that the next generation of iPhones, expected to be released in the fall of 2024, may feature a different processor than its predecessor. This news comes just as the iPhone 15 Pro is hitting the market with its A16 Bionic chip.
According to a Weibo user, the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, if that’s what Apple decides to call them, may not follow the usual chip succession pattern. Typically, Apple’s Pro models feature the latest and most powerful chips, while the regular models use slightly older versions. However, this may not be the case for the iPhone 16.
The speculation is that instead of using the A17 Pro chip found in the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple may introduce a fundamentally different A17 chip in the iPhone 16. This potential change is raising concerns, as it is believed that the new chip may be designed to cut costs.
The difference lies in the manufacturing process. The A17 Pro currently used in the iPhone 15 Pro is manufactured using TSMC’s N3B process. However, reports suggest that Apple may opt for a different process, called N3E, for the A17 chip in the iPhone 16. The N3E process has fewer EUV layers and lower transistor density, resulting in lower efficiency compared to N3B. It is worth noting that N3B has been ready for mass production for longer but has lower yield.
While it is unusual for Apple to release a processor that doesn’t meet its performance requirements, the lower efficiency of the N3E process has raised some concerns. However, it is possible that Apple could compensate for this by increasing the RAM from 6GB to 8GB in the iPhone 16, which could balance out any potential performance differences.
If Apple does go ahead with the different chip and still decides to call it the A17 Pro, it would mark a significant departure from the naming convention. The exact name for the chip has not been confirmed yet.
Reliable analyst Jeff Pu also supports the notion that the N3E process and potential increase in RAM could be observed in the iPhone 16. However, it is important to note that no final decisions have been made at this stage, and more information is expected to emerge in the coming days.
Overall, Apple’s meticulous approach to ensuring speed and performance in its devices suggests that any potential changes to the processor in the iPhone 16 will be carefully evaluated. Apple has always strived to deliver high-performing devices, and it is unlikely that they would release a processor that falls short of their standards.