Kuo: Apple’s new A16 chip only included with higher-end iPhone 14 Pro models, base model iPhone 14 uses same chip as iPhone 13

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today tweeted that he thinks Apple might break from tradition this year, and release some iPhone 14 models with the same A15 chip as the iPhone 13. 9to5Mac sources independently corroborated this reporting.

The A15 chip would power the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 and 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max, although the RAM would be upgraded to 6 GB from 4 GB. The new A16 SoC would be reserved for the higher-end, and more expensive, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models. The Pro phones would feature the same 6 GB RAM as the iPhone 13 Pro…

If true, this would be the first time in almost a decade that Apple would bifurcate the flagship iPhone specs by the type of chip series it uses. The last time the company did this was way back in 2013, when the iPhone 5S got the A7 but the cheaper iPhone 5C merely sported the one-year-old A6 chip.

Whilst a somewhat left-field rumor in isolation, Ming-Chi Kuo has had a strong record of accuracy in the past. Separately, 9to5Mac has heard from independent sources that Apple has been developing two new iPhone 14 models with A16 chips, and two iPhone 14 models with A15 chips inside, which aligns with what Kuo has said today.

It’s also true that Apple has employed chip differentiation strategies in the past, if not to the same extent. For instance, the iPhone 13 Pro features an A15 chip with more RAM and more GPU cores compared to the A15 chip inside the iPhone 13.

What is less controversial, with multiple sources saying this for many months at this month, is the idea that Apple will offer a large-screened iPhone at a lower-end price point for 2022. This means the company will offer a non-Pro 6.7 -inch ‘Max’ screen size for the first time ever. The 5.4-inch ‘mini’ screen size has been discontinued.

That means this fall, the iPhone 14 lineup will only be available in two screen sizes, 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch.

Apple will differentiate the models purely by specifications, such as the 120Hz ProMotion display, camera specifications, and potentially the performance of the CPU and GPU inside, if Ming-Chi Kuo’s latest reporting is accurate.

Of course, Kuo is merely speculating at the marketing naming scheme. iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max does at least have some nice symmetry to it. Apple will officially unveil the iPhone 14 lineup in the fall.

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