Apple may develop dedicated A-series chips for the standard iPhone 16

On September 13, 2023, amidst the autumnal fervor of their annual product reveal, Apple graced the world with the introduction of the iPhone 15 series. Notably, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are outfitted with the novel A17 Pro chip, a pioneering endeavor for Apple, being crafted with a 3nm process. This stands as a watershed moment, marking the industry’s inaugural 3nm chip of its ilk. Deviating from prior nomenclature, Apple has transitioned to appending “Pro” to its A-series chips, eschewing the traditional “Bionic” moniker.

With the iPhone 14 series, Apple embarked on a journey of demarcation through the chips they integrated: the standard model wielded the A15 Bionic, whilst the Pro variant harnessed the power of the A16 Bionic. This year, the tradition persists, with the standard being christened A16 Bionic and the Pro variant bearing the A17 Pro title. According to reports from Wccftech, the forthcoming year will witness Apple equipping the standard iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus exclusively with the A17 chip.

Diverging from the N3B process employed in the A17 Pro, the A17 relies on TSMC’s N3E process, which pares down the EUV layers and sports fewer transistors, inevitably leading to a reduction in costs. The ramifications of this shift in process on battery longevity and performance remain shrouded in speculation. Rumors swirling in the tech ether suggest the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will be endowed with 8GB of RAM. Coupled with the new A17, a substantial elevation in performance is theoretically plausible. Sources intimate that Apple originally intended to harness the N3B process for the A16 Bionic, but manufacturing snags compelled a deviation from this plan. It’s conceivable the A17 mirrors some of these designs, strategically differentiating it from the A17 Pro.

Apple’s aspiration is to accentuate the distinctions between iPhone variants, both in chip architecture and overall configurations, thereby refining product positioning whilst maintaining stringent cost control. While the A17 might forgo certain features or supports inherent in the A17 Pro, such assertions remain ensconced in the realm of preliminary conjecture.