Apple typically ships a new Apple Silicon chip in each and every new iPhone model, yes even in the ‘S’ years too. Recent rumors may actually suggest Apple may break with its tradition and only upgrade the iPhone 14 Pro models to the A16 Bionic chip and leave the iPhone 14 models on this year’s A15 Bionic chip.
According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, only the more expensive iPhone 14 Pro models will get the A16 Bionic chip, while the mid-range iPhone 14 models will retain the current A15 Bionic.
Next year’s iPhone 14 lineup:
- 6.1-inch iPhone 14 + A15 chip
- 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max + A15 chip
- 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro + A16 chip
- 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro + A16 chip
This move may seem odd to those with a short memory, but Apple has actually exercised this kind of move before. Way back in 2020, Apple reused the 2018 iPad Pro chip, the A12X, enabled an extra GPU core and renamed it ‘A12Z Bionic.’ Apple has exercised this strategy more recently. When Apple launched its breakthrough M1 chip, the company didn’t really advertise that the M1 is actually based on the A14 Bionic found in last year’s iPhone 12 series. Apple’s strategy with iPhone and iPad chips up until that point was to ship the newest iPad with the chip found inside the latest iPhone, but with a beefed-up GPU. Many of us in the tech media believed that an A14X Bionic would have been Apple’s next iPad Pro chip, instead Apple called it M1. Naming aside, it is still basically an A14 Bionic with a beefed-up GPU.
Apple’s strategy for the iPhone 14 may end up being something similar to the strategy detailed above. Currently, if you dive into the specs for the current iPhone 13 and 13 Pro, the iPhone 13 has one of its six GPU cores disabled, whereas the iPhone 13 Pro has all six lit up. Apple could ship next year’s iPhone 14 with this year’s iPhone 13 Pro chip and have all six GPU cores lit up. The iPhone 14 Pro, however, may end up with the latest A15 Bionic. Of course, this is all based on rumors, rumors for pretty credible sources but rumors nonetheless.