One of the pretty transparent ways in which Apple has, in recent years, tried to increase its average revenue per iPhone unit sold, is needlessly differentiating features between the ‘vanilla’ (read: cheaper) iPhones and the more expensive Pros. It got to the point where the vanilla models are now powered by different, older chipsets in order to save Apple some money and protect its profit margin.
That, however, may sort of change next year. According to a research note by Jeff Pu, an analyst who covers Apple and its supply chain and has a decent track record, sent to Haitong International Securities in Hong Kong, all four iPhone 16 models will be powered by A18 chips.
That’s a far cry from this year’s lineup, where the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus get the A16 Bionic, while the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are both powered by the A17 Pro chip.
Now, you may be thinking that Apple is finally going to stop making the chipset’s capabilities one of the main upsells for its Pro line, but you’d be wrong. See, while all four models will use an A18 chip in 2024, it won’t be the same one it seems, as the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus are said to come with the A18, while the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will have the A18 Pro, strongly implying more oomph baked in.
So in the end, Apple could just be rebranding its chipsets so that it feels like the vanilla iPhones are closer in hardware specs to their Pro relatives. It’s unclear how different the A18 will be from the A17 Pro used in this year’s Pro iPhones, we’ll have to wait and see.
Anyway, the A18 and A18 Pro will be manufactured by TSMC on its « N3E » second-generation 3nm process, which will be less expensive and produce better yields than the « N3B » that’s used for the A17 Pro, according to TSMC.