I am not planning an improve to the iPhone 15 this yr, and it is no reflection on the apparent strengths and minimal weaknesses of Apple’s newest telephones. It is actually extra a mirrored image of the truth that my iPhone 12 continues to serve me effectively, particularly after the iOS 17 replace, and I’ve a pure inclination to carry on to telephones proper up till the purpose the place they crumble into mud in my hand.
However I am glad that the timing if working the way in which it’s and that the second once I may lastly be able to swap in a brand new iPhone coincides with the arrival of the iPhone 16. As a result of there is a new rumor about subsequent yr’s iPhone launch that is making the rounds, and if it is true, it signifies that Apple will repair one of many issues that annoys me probably the most with the present iPhone lineup.
Apple will reportedly cease utilizing hand-me-down chipsets on its entry-level flagships.
A quick historical past of Apple silicon
By way of 2021’s iPhone 13 launch, Apple used the identical silicon on each cellphone launched at a given time. In different phrases, each iPhone 13 mannequin featured the identical A15 Bionic chip, whether or not we’re speaking concerning the mighty iPhone 13 Professional Max or the slender iPhone 13 mini.
That modified with the iPhone 14’s launch final yr. Each the iPhone 14 Professional and iPhone 14 Professional Max obtained a brand new A16 Bionic chip, however the two inexpensive iPhone 14 fashions debuted with the identical A15 Bionic chip discovered within the iPhone 13. Nicely, not precisely the identical — the iPhone 14’s model had an additional graphics core, however you get the thought.
The transfer to separate up chipsets between completely different fashions got here at a time when Apple was attempting to ascertain extra of a dividing line between the usual iPhone and the Professional variations. So naturally that transfer continued with the iPhone 15 this fall — the common telephones obtained the A16 Bionic whereas the iPhone 15 Professional fashions debuted with the A17 Professional.
That exact break up was keenly felt because the A17 Professional is a 3nm chipset whereas the A16 makes use of a 4nm course of. As chips shrink in dimension, the transistors turn out to be extra densely packed. That often interprets to a lift in energy, which we noticed after we ran the A17- and A16-powered iPhones by means of a set of benchmarks.
|Row 0 – Cell 0||iPhone 15||iPhone 15 Professional Max|
|Chipset||A16 Bionic||A17 Professional|
|Geekbench (single core/multicore)||2518 / 6179||2783 / 6945|
|3DMark Wild Life (fps)||72.1||92|
So if Apple was trying to separate its Professional fashions from the remainder of the iPhone household, effectively, mission achieved — on chipsets alone, there’s a variety of daylight between the iPhone 15 and its Professional siblings.
Apple’s iPhone 16 chipset plans
And that brings us to this rumor concerning the iPhone 16, which arrives courtesy of analyst Jeff Pu of Haitong Securities. Pu contends that Apple’s days of utilizing completely different households of silicon will come to an finish with the iPhone 16. He anticipates all of subsequent yr’s fashions will use A18 system-on-chip.
That is to not say they’re going to be utilizing the identical chip essentially. Pu nonetheless thinks that the iPhone 16 Professional and iPhone 16 Professional Max (or the iPhone 16 Extremely if that rumored mannequin is really within the works) will function one thing alongside the traces of an A18 Professional chipset. The iPhone 16, on the opposite arms, would run a scaled again model of the A18.
You possibly can make the case that that is precisely what Apple’s doing proper now, solely with names and numbers of chipsets. The iPhone 16 fashions would nonetheless be powered by completely different silicon identical to the iPhone 15 fashions are actually.
And I would not say that you simply’re mistaken, however the distinction within the iPhone 16’s case is that the non Professional model of the chipset continues to be a new chipset. It isn’t a holdover from a earlier handset that leaves the newer iPhone feeling like a rerun.
In that sense, Apple’s method would ship the most effective of each worlds. The iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Professional would stay very distinct fashions, with consumers incentivized to pay up for the extra succesful Professional cellphone. On the similar time, anybody who purchased the common iPhone 16 would not really feel like they’re being saddled with an older chipset; as a substitute, it is a new mannequin with new options, even when a few of these options are scaled again in trade for a cheaper price tag.
iPhone 16 outlook
Pu has a fairly good monitor document for iPhone forecasts, notably in the case of the elements Apple makes use of in is telephones, so there is a good probability this A18 declare is fairly correct even when it does appear ridiculously early to be eager about the iPhone 16. In spite of everything, we’re barely a month out from the iPhone 15 launch, which suggests we have a variety of distance to cowl earlier than we come again round to the following Apple iPhone occasion.
Nonetheless, if Apple’s going to begin producing new chipsets for all its telephones as a substitute of saddling its entry-level flagship with final yr’s leftovers, there’s loads of causes to be excited proper now.