Earlier this year, an intriguing report by well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revealed that Apple may keep the new A16 chip exclusively for iPhone 14 Pro models, while regular iPhone 14 models get last year’s A15 chip. In a new report, Kuo now claims that the entry-level and mid-range iPhone models will no longer feature Apple’s latest chips in the future as the company has changed its business strategy.
iPhone 14 with A15 chip
Apple is expected to announce four new iPhone models this year: iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max (a larger 6.7-inch version that will replace the iPhone mini), iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max. While the regular iPhone 14 models will retain the same design as the iPhone 13 with minimal internal upgrades, the Pro range will get more attention with one new screen design and significant camera upgrades.
This wouldn’t be the first time Apple has kept major upgrades like a new design exclusive to the more expensive iPhone models. In 2017, iPhone X was introduced with a brand new design, Face ID and other new technologies, while iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were just better versions of iPhone 7.
However, both the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were powered by the same A11 Bionic chip. Apple followed this strategy in subsequent years with iPhone XR and iPhone XS, iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, and so on. Now it looks like things are about to change.
According to Kuo’s report, both 9to5Mac and Bloomberg confirmed with independent sources that only two of the four iPhone 14 models get a new, faster chip. Although some analysts believe Apple will use a more powerful version of the A15 chip with 6GB of RAM instead of 4GB in the new phones, the architecture will be the same as the iPhone 13 chips.
At first we thought this might be temporary due to the global chip shortage, but Kuo seems to think differently now.
A new business strategy
In a report about his personal blog, Kuo noted that the huge differences between the mid-range iPhone 14 and the high-end iPhone 14 Pro should make the pricier models even more popular with consumers. While the iPhone 14 Pro was previously expected to account for 40% to 50% of new model sales by the end of 2022, the estimate has now been bumped up to as much as 60%.
But here’s something that’s never been said before: Kuo is now claiming that Apple’s latest chips will be exclusive to high-end iPhone models from now on. In other words, the analyst believes Apple will no longer release entry-level and mid-range iPhones with its latest and greatest chips.
Keeping the new processor for the more expensive iPhone models will surely lead to more people buying these models instead of the cheaper ones, which will lead to an increase in the average iPhone price. That means Apple’s profit from iPhone sales will be even higher. Of course, Kuo also notes that camera vendors for high-end iPhones will also benefit from this.
The latest processor chip will be exclusive to high-end iPhone models in the future, so high-end iPhone shipments will be the norm, favoring high-end camera component suppliers.
If that’s true, then the days of an entire line of iPhones sporting the same new chip seem to be over. On the other hand, this is no surprise as Apple has done something similar with the iPad range. The more expensive models come with the same chips as the Macs, while the cheaper iPad models stick with iPhone chips.
Launch and availability of the iPhone 14
If all goes according to plan, Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro in September. It’s worth noting that availability at launch may be limited due to delivery issues.
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