iPhone 15 Pro models will again be the only ones to get Apple’s latest chip next year, according to a new report today.
This would mirror the approach the company used for the iPhone 14, with the Pro models getting a new A16 chip while the standard and Plus models have last year’s A15 chip …
This year was the first time that Apple used the processor as a point of differentiation between the standard and Pro model iPhones.
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max got the latest A16 chip, while the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus are powered by the A15 – though they do get the 6-core variant from the iPhone 13 Pro.
Apple didn’t directly compare the A16 and A15 chips, instead comparing the A16 to the processors used in Android phones. Apple said that the A6 is “up to 40 percent faster than the competition.”
We have, however, seen benchmarks illustrating the performance difference between the chips. Geekbench, which focuses on raw power, showed modest differences.
According to Geekbench 5 scores, the iPhone 14 Pro has a 1,879 Single-Core Score, while it has a 4,664 Multi-Core Score. Compared to the iPhone 13 Pro benchmark test, the predecessor of the iPhone 14 Pro has a 1,797 Single-Core Score and a 4,659 Multi-Core Score.
With this test, we know the A16 Bionic chip performs 10% faster in a single core compared to its previous model, while there’s practically no difference with the multi-core part.
AnTuTu benchmarks, which aim to better replicate real-life demands placed on the processor, indicated larger differences.
AnTuTu says that, compared to the iPhone 13 Pro, the iPhone 14 Pro’s scores have been improved by 18.8%. The CPU performance has increased by 17% and the GPU performance has increased by 28%. According to the company, this improvement in GPU performance is one of the best in recent years on any phone.
Some believe that Apple will further widen the gap between the standard and Pro models in years to come.
iPhone 15 Pro models will get A17 chip
Nikkei Asia reports that next year’s A17 chip will also be limited to the Pro models.
According to three people familiar with the matter […] the A17 will be used in the premium entry in the iPhone lineup slated for release in 2023.
The paper says that the A17 will be based on TSMC’s second-generation 3nm process.
The A17 mobile processor currently under development will be mass-produced using TSMC’s N3E chipmaking tech, expected to be available in the second half of next year.
Some Macs will also have M-series chips, which take advantage of the smaller 3nm process, says the report.
Chip-based model differentiation
The move by Apple effectively mirrors that used in Macs – where you pay more for more powerful processors. The difference here is that processor speed makes far less difference to the user experience, other than in high-demand tasks like gaming.
Looked at from the opposite perspective, you can say that those who buy the standard or Plus model are not missing out on much.
But a strategy of widening the gap between the models does make sense from Apple’s perspective, especially now the Plus model means that those who want a larger screen no longer have to opt for the most expensive model. Giving the Pro models more advanced features will drive demand for those among some segments of the market, without making mass-market buyers feel that they are missing out.
The aim, as ever, will be to increase the average selling price (ASP) by increasing demand for Pro models.
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