All iPhone 16 models to get the A18 chip, ditching the tiered system

Apple’s upcoming iPhone 16 series is generating significant buzz, with rumors and leaks pointing towards a major shift in the company’s processor strategy. All four iPhone 16 models are expected to feature the same A18 chip, marking a departure from the tiered processor system used in previous years.

iPhone 16 Pro

According to code changes discovered by Nicol├ís Alvarez and reported by MacRumors, five new iPhone models have surfaced in Apple’s backend code, each powered by the A18 chip. The identifiers for these models are iPhone17,1 through iPhone17,5. This unified numbering suggests that all devices will use the A18 chip, a significant change from Apple’s previous strategy.

In the past, Apple differentiated its Pro and non-Pro models with different processors. For instance, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus used the A16 Bionic chip, while the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max featured the more advanced A17 Pro chip. This differentiation extended to other features, such as RAM and support for Apple Intelligence.

One notable upgrade for the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus is an increase in RAM from 6GB to 8GB. This increase will enhance the performance of these models, particularly for AI and machine learning tasks, which are expected to see a significant boost with the A18 chip. The Pro models, iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max, may feature an “A18 Pro” chip with additional GPU cores and a more powerful neural network engine.

A18

The A18 chips will be manufactured using TSMC’s N3E process. While the A18 chip in the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus might stick to the A17 Pro design from the iPhone 15 Pro, the A18 Pro chip for the Pro models will likely feature an enhanced design for better performance and efficiency.

Reports from Taiwan media CTEE reveal that Apple has significantly increased its chip orders from TSMC, planning to buy between 90 million and 100 million A18 chips. This is a notable increase from the 80 million to 90 million chips ordered for the iPhone 15 series, reflecting Apple’s confidence in strong demand for the new models.

A key driver behind the anticipated high demand is the new “Apple Intelligence” feature in iOS 18. This advanced AI feature requires at least an iPhone 15 Pro to function, incentivizing users of older models to upgrade to the iPhone 16 series to access the full capabilities of Apple’s latest AI innovations.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 16 series in the fall, likely around mid-September, consistent with its previous launch schedules.

About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.