Each new iPhone generation brings a brand new A-series System-in-Chip (SoC) that’s more powerful and energy-efficient than the last. And every new A-series chip has no rival on the Android side, significantly outperforming same-year competitors from Qualcomm and Samsung. The same goes for the iPhone 14. The new handset series will feature Apple’s brand new silicon for mobile devices. But unlike in previous years, the A16 Bionic will reportedly only power the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
That’s according to various leaks that claim Apple is looking to further differentiate the regular and Pro variants. Putting a different chip in the cheaper iPhone 14 models might do the trick, especially considering that Apple has no real rival from Android.
With that in mind, we have a new leak that gives us early details about the A16 Bionic specs.
Not all iPhone 14 chips are the same
Pick any iPhone launch event and search for the performance segment. You’ll see Apple brag about the capabilities of its newest SoC. Choose one of the newer iPhones and you’ll see Apple bash rivals by claiming that the next best processor in the industry is available from year-old iPhones rather than a current Android flagship handset.
One example is immediately available from this year’s Galaxy S22 benchmarks. The Android handset failed to outperform the 2019 iPhone 11 in some tests. Even more embarrassing is the fact that Samsung was cheating to get those benchmark scores.
With that in mind, the A16 Bionic’s closest competition this year will probably be the A15 Bionic that powers all the iPhone 13 models. And rumors say Apple will use that A15 Bionic for one more year. The SoC will reportedly be found inside the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max, although the handsets will have 6GB of RAM instead of 4GB of RAM like the cheapest iPhone 13 models.
Moreover, rumors say the A15 Bionic in the iPhone 14 models get some mild upgrades. Or it might match the iPhone 13 Pro’s A15. There is a slight difference between the A15 powering the iPhone 13 Pro and the A15 inside the iPhone 13 and 13 mini. The latter has a 4-core GPU, compared to a 5-core GPU on the Pro models.
The A16 Bionic should deliver the biggest SoC upgrades this year, but they’ll supposedly be restricted to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
Leaked A16 Bionic specs in the iPhone 14 Pro
A leaker posted a thread on Twitter about Apple’s various SoC versions coming this year.
The A16 Bionic is at the top of the list, with well-known leaker ShrimpApplePro claiming the iPhone 14 Pro chip will be a 5nm TSMC creation. That means Apple won’t make the jump to 4nm yet, a node that rivals already use.
Even so, the A16 Bionic should deliver a better CPU and GPU, plus support for LPDDR5 RAM. That last note is of real interest, as it’ll allow Apple to use the fastest possible RAM. Currently, all iPhone 13 models utilize LPDDR4X RAM.
The leaker did not offer any benchmarks for the A16 Bionic, however. It’s unclear what sort of improvements we’re looking at compared to the 2021 SoC.
However, ShrimpApplePro also mentioned the next-gen M-series SoC in the same thread.
The M2 will be a 3nm processor and it might feature a custom ARMv9 chip. The leaker also mentioned the last SoC in the M1 series, which will feature updated Avalanche (high-performance) and Blizzard (energy-efficient) cores.
The A16 Bionic that powers the iPhone 14 Pro should be announced before any new M-series SoCs. Apple will likely launch the new iPhones in September. Any Mac launches the company might have on its calendar for 2022 likely won’t take place before the iPhone 14 press conference.
More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.