Last week, Apple announced that it will no longer equip the standard iPhone models with last year’s Pro processor, which is great news for iPhone users. When the iPhone 14 series was released, customers were surprised to find that the iPhone 14 Pro came with the new A16 Bionic chipset, while the standard iPhone 14 was equipped with last year’s A15 Bionic, previously used by the iPhone 13 Pro. This year, the iPhone 15 Pro introduced the first 3nm A17 Pro chip, while the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus had the 14 Pro’s 4nm A16 Bionic.
This approach was problematic for a number of reasons, but fortunately, early leaks suggest that this fragmentation issue will be reduced when the iPhone 16 and 16 Pro are launched in late 2024, though it may not be entirely eliminated. Both the iPhone 16 and 16 Pro are rumored to come with the cutting-edge 3nm A18 chipsets, but the Pro model may have a slight advantage with the 3nm A18 Pro, while the standard model is expected to have the 3nm A18 Bionic. Despite this difference, the performance and efficiency of both processors should be very similar.
The use of the 3nm N3E process for both A18 processors means that there should not be much difference between the A18 Pro and A18 Bionic in terms of performance and efficiency. This is good news as it will lead to less fragmentation within the iPhone lineup.
The increasing differentiation between iPhone models could make it difficult for consumers to choose the best model for them, and it could also make things tougher for Apple to maintain different hardware models. Additionally, developers will have to ensure that their software is optimized for the various iPhone models available.
The rumors about the iPhone 16 all coming with 3nm N3E A18 chips, despite being slightly different, make it seem like Apple has the situation under control for now.