Earlier this year, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo first reported that some iPhone 14 models might be introduced with the current A15 Bionic chip – a rumor that was later independently verified by 9to5Mac. Now a report from TrendForce corroborates these rumors by saying that only iPhone 14 Pro models will get the new A16 chip.
In a report about the global smartphone market published on Wednesday, TrendForce notes that Apple will introduce four new iPhone 14 models in the second half of 2022. However, the research firm states that only the “Pro series” will get the latest processor, probably referring to the A16 chip.
Also according to the report, the entry-level iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max models will use the iPhone 13’s A15 Bionic chip, but now with 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM instead of 4GB.
Although the idea of Apple launching a new iPhone with a chip from last year seems odd, this is not the first time a rumor like this has surfaced on the web. Just after Ming-Chi Kuo shared a similar report back in March, 9to5Mac has heard from independent sources that indeed only iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will get a new chip.
The reasons are unclear and it’s unlikely that Apple will explain this to anyone, but analysts believe that the main reason behind this decision is the chip shortage that has been affecting the entire industry. As a result, Apple will dedicate its entire supply chain to produce the more expensive iPhone 14 models.
Recent reports from Nikkei Asia and analyst Jeff Pu have stated that production of at least one of the iPhone 14 models is delayed by three weeks. The delays could be worse if the entry-level iPhone 14 models were getting more significant hardware changes.
iPhone 14 with A15 chip
It’s worth noting that behind Apple’s chips there’s a strong marketing strategy. For example, the acclaimed M1 chip is basically an A14 Bionic chip with more CPU and GPU cores. Apple could have called it the A14X chip, but naming it M1 makes it sound like something really new.
Currently, there are two different versions of the A15 chip. One with 4GB of RAM and a four-core GPU used by iPhone 13 and another one with 6GB of RAM and a five-core GPU used by iPhone 13 Pro. Since all iPhone 14 models are rumored to feature 6GB of RAM, we expect that the entry-level versions will get the “high-end” A15 chip.
With this in mind, Apple could even give this chip a new name. The Apple Watch Series 7 has the same CPU as the Apple Watch Series 6, but the chips are named “Apple S6” and “Apple S7” due to minor internal changes that have been made to the SoC.
Of course, we won’t have the answers to all these questions until later this year once the company announces the new iPhones.