Since the arrival of the iPhone in 2007, two things have been true: we’ve gotten a new model every year and they all had the same processor. As of the iPhone 14, that may no longer be the case.
After Apple released the iPhone 13 Pro with a slightly better A15 processor (5 GPU cores vs. 4 GPU cores), this year’s iPhone 14 models were rumored to split the chips even further: the iPhone 14 will get the more expensive A15 while the iPhone 14 Pro gets the A16.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, this is the start of a new trend. In a Medium post, he again reports that the latest A16 processor will be exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro models, but goes one step further: “The latest processor chip will be exclusive to iPhone high-end models in the future. , so a high shipping share of iPhone high-end models will be the norm.”
As Kuo explains, this is part of a new strategy to boost iPhone Pro sales. Segmenting its latest chip into the very best (and best-priced) phones will likely mean an increase in shipments of up to 60 percent, boosting the average retail price and benefiting suppliers of high-end camera components.
That probably means that the next iPhone SE will also have an older processor. For example, if it arrives in 2024 as expected, it could have this year’s A16 chip instead of the A17 that will likely be in the iPhone 15 Pro models. So unless you’re looking to spend over a thousand dollars on your next iPhone, you’ll probably never get the latest chip again.
The iPhone 14 is expected to launch at an event in September. In addition to the chip, the Pro models are expected to receive several upgrades, including a 48MP camera and always-on display, as well as a higher starting price of $1,099.