Home Latest News Apple iPhone 16 To Feature Surprising Design Choice, Report Claims – Forbes

Apple iPhone 16 To Feature Surprising Design Choice, Report Claims – Forbes

iPhone 15 in blue. What processor will the iPhone 16 use?
It looks like the next iPhone, expected in fall 2024, may not have the same processor as the one just landing in the iPhone 15 Pro. A new report claims a different plan will be introduced.
According to MacRumors, a Weibo user has said that the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, if that’s what next year’s iPhones are called, may not follow the chip succession sequence to which we’ve become accustomed.
The current iPhone 15 uses the processor that powered last year’s iPhone 14 Pro, called A16 Bionic. This makes sense to me: the Pro iPhones only hang around for one year while regular iPhones stay in the range for longer (you can still buy the iPhone 13 and even iPhone 12 right now), so why not use the super-fast Pro chips for longer, too?
So, the expectation is that the iPhone 17 Pro, the dazzlingly fast chip in the iPhone 15 Pro, would slide down into the iPhone 16 next September.
But that may not be what’s intended, after all.
Instead, it seems, the A17 that is likely to arrive in a year’s time, could be fundamentally different from the A17 Pro we’ve just met. Which may not be a good thing because, guess what, it may be designed to cut costs.
It all comes down to the manufacturing process, so pardon me if we get a bit geeky here. The A17 Pro uses the N3B process from chip maker TSMC. However, the report claims there could be a move to another process, called N3E, to create the A17 Pro which will decorate the inside of the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus.
N3B uses a 3-nanometer process, which means a huge number of transistors are to be found on the tiny chip. But, according to MacRumors, “N3E has fewer EUV layers and lower transistor density than N3B, resulting in lower efficiency. N3B has also been ready for mass production for longer than N3E, but it has much lower yield. N3B was effectively designed as a trial node and is not compatible with TSMC’s successor processes including N3P, N3X, and N3S, meaning that Apple has to redesign its future chips to take advantage of TSMC’s innovations.”
Here’s the thing: Apple is scrupulous about ensuring its phones are fast, real performers at every level. It absolutely doesn’t seem likely that it will release a processor that doesn’t meet its requirements, so maybe it doesn’t matter if it uses a fabrication process that’s more affordable.
But what is striking is this would be a different chip so if Apple called it A17 Pro, that would be a striking change. Of course, we don’t know what name Apple has in mind: A17 Pro SE, anyone?
The N3E process has also been corroborated by reliable analyst Jeff Pu, who claimed that alongside the processor, there could be an increase in RAM, from 6GB to 8GB. Maybe that means the new processor, even if less powerful in some ways, could add up to the same chip if extra RAM is provided.
The good news is that at this stage, no final decisions will have been taken—even though they may only be days away. More as we have it.