Apple may launch two big-screen iPhones with 6.7-display this year, but they all may not be powered by the next-gen Bionic A16 chipset.
The new chipset will only be available on the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, while iPhone 14 and 14 Max will be driven by last year’s A15 chipset, said renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a Twitter post, published March 13.
“Only two Pro models would upgrade to the A16 processor, while the 14 & 14 Max will remain the A15. All four new models will likely come with 6GB RAM, with the difference being LPDDR 5 (14 Pro & 14 Pro Max) vs. LPDDR 4X (14 & 14 Max),” the post said.
This would mark a major departure from Apple's policy of offering the latest hardware on all new devices, particularly iPhones. Until last year, all versions of the iPhones in a particular series have been launched with the same chipset. For instance, all models of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro series had the same A15 chipset.
Kuo didn’t share the reason for the shift, but one can’t rule out the role of ongoing chip shortage that is expected to worsen due to Russia's attack on Ukraine, as the two countries are the leading suppliers of Neon and Palladium to the semiconductor industry.
In the same Twitter thread, Kuo said that Apple may launch a big screen (6.7-inch) iPhone 14 Max along with the iPhone 14 (6.1-inch).
The more premium Pro series will include the iPhone 14 Pro (6.1-inch), and iPhone 14 Pro Max (6.7-inch). This means that Apple may dump the small screen Mini device or skip it for this year and focus on big screen devices to cater to growing hybrid work demands and the growing amount of work people do on their smartphones these days.
Kuo also said that Apple will offer more random access memory (RAM) on the more expensive iPhones and will be using the LPDDR5 version, which is 1.5 times faster and more efficient than the LPDDR 4X that will be used in the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max models.
Apple as a policy doesn’t share any details on future products. However, forecasts by some of the analysts including Kuo and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman have turned out to be mostly accurate in the past.
Apple’s iPhone 14 lineup is expected to be announced during September or October at the iPhone event.