iPhone 15 Pro with an enhanced 3nm A17 chip to be the most powerful smartphone in 2023
The iPhone 15 Pro will be official in September 2023 if everything goes according to Apple’s regular itinerary. This series will use the A17 Bionic chip, at least in the Pro models. However, the manufacturing process for this chip is just gearing up. According to TSMC, the company in charge of Apple’s Bionic chips, the next-generation 3nm chips node will commence mass production pretty soon. However, according to Digitimes, the higher version of this node, N3E will not arrive before the official launch of the iPhone 15 Pro. In the recent Q2 earnings call, TSMC CEO, C.C Wei, reveals that “N3E will further extend our N3 family with enhanced performance, power and yield. We observed a high level of customer engagement at N3E, and volume production is scheduled for around one year after N3,”
In the Android camp, 3nm chips will not be available in 2023. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will still use the 4nm manufacturing process. This means that the first 3nm processor in an Android smartphone should launch in 2024 at the earliest. Apart from Qualcomm, there is also MediaTek which sells mobile processors to Android brands. However, MediaTek’s chips are also made by TSMC. These chips will be available towards the end of 2023. Thus, it is most unlikely that any Android smartphone will use 3nm chips before 2024. This means that Apple will for some time stand as the exclusive customer for the enhanced 3nm mobile processor manufacturing process. This process will likely be used to manufacture the A17 Bionic SoC that the iPhone 15 Pro will use.
iPhone 15 Pro speculations
As of now, we are expecting the launch of the iPhone 14 series in about a week. Thus, there is not much information about the iPhone 15 Pro. However, we already know that the iPhone 14 series will increase its camera pixel size to 48MP. This is the first time that Apple will be increasing its iPhone camera pixel size in seven years. Thus, the iPhone 15 Pro will most likely come with the same 48MP sensor. Furthermore, this device should come with a 12MP ultrawide camera with 1.4-micron pixels. In addition to the 3nm Apple A17 processor, the iPhone 15 Pro will also use a punch-hole OLED display as well as a 6x periscope zoom camera. It is most likely that only the iPhone 15 Pro Max and iPhone 15 Pro will use the 3nm Apple A17 processor. The iPhone 15 Max and regular iPhone 15 should stick with the A16 Bionic SoC.
Industry sources claim that the production schedule of TSMC’s N3E reveals that Apple is “the main customer of TSMC’s 3nm process manufacturing in 2023, and the foundry is expected to fulfil considerable 3nm chip orders for multiple customers in 2024,”. This also means that the iPhone 15 Pro series should be the first to use 3nm chips.
Apple iPhone15 / Max will be equipped with an A16 Bionic
According to reports from China, Apple’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro will use different chips this year. The basic iPhone 14 / Max will come with different chips from the Pro models. The basic iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max will use the old A15 Bionic chip. Only the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will use the new Bionic A16 SoC. The same strategy will be adopted for next year’s iPhone 15 series. In fact, there are reports that this will become a new normal for Apple’s iPhones. The report also claims that this year’s 5nm A16 will continue to be used in the iPhone 15 series. Furthermore, the Chinese source claims that the 3nm A17 will only be used in the iPhone 15 Pro series. This is consistent with the reports above.
At the end of last year, the source @MobileChipDaren reveals that not all 2022 iPhone 14 series phones will upgrade to the A16 processor, and the iPhone 14 will continue to use the A15 chip of the iPhone 13. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also raised this possibility. He also believes that the non-Pro models of Apple’s iPhone 14 series “may stick to last year’s A15 or A15 fine-tuned version”, while the Pro models will use a new A16 chip. Gurman adds that in addition to reinforcing the difference, a global shortage of chips is a big factor behind the decision.
After iPhone 15, Apple will change all AirPods charging boxes to USB-C ports in 2023 – Ming-Chi Kuo
Tianfeng International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said recently that Apple will launch a USB-C-enabled charging case for all AirPods in 2023. However, the charging case for the new AirPods Pro 2 may still support the Lightning port. This isn’t the first time Ming-Chi Kuo has revealed that future AirPods will use USB-C charging. In May of this year, Ming-Chi Kuo revealed that AirPods and other Apple accessories will also switch to the USB-C port with the iPhone, including the Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse for Mac, as well as MagSafe batteries for iPhone Group.
In addition, Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman both claim that Apple will also transition to the USB-C interface for the iPhone 15 series in 2023. According to these revelations, Apple will set 2023 as a point in time to change the interface. This will officially mark the end of the Lightning interface.
The EU’s proposed legislation requires that from the fall of 2024, all smartphones and accessories need to use the USB-C interface for charging. The Verge says the agreement has the biggest impact on Apple. This is because it is the only major smartphone maker still using a proprietary interface instead of USB-C. In 2021, Apple will sell 241 million iPhones worldwide, of which about 56 million will be sold in Europe.
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