Some iPhone 14 models might miss out on Apple’s new A16 processor

Some iPhone 14 models might miss out on Apple’s new A16 processor

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Every iPhone 14 model will have a ProMotion display and 6GB of RAM
Apple might limit its new A16 processor to only iPhone 14 Pro models.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The basic iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max will launch this fall with the same A15 processor as the 2021 models, according to a reliable tipster. Supposedly, only the pricier iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will sport a new A16 chip.

If true, it’ll be a move Apple has never used before.

iPhone 14 could have a A5 processor

The startling news comes from Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst from TF International Securities, who said Sunday via Twitter, “Only two Pro models would upgrade to the A16 processor, while the 14 & 14 Max will remain the A15.”

In the past, every model in each new iPhone series came with newer, faster processor. As just one example, the iPhone 13 mini costs $400 less and is much smaller than the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but both are built around the same chip.

Even the budget iPhone SE series gets the latest processors. The new third-generation SE model unveiled last week uses the A15, the same chip as in Apple’s current flagship handsets. The effect is that, despite the price range, the models offer equal performance.

Making the iPhone Pro stand out

If the unconfirmed report is true, Apple’s goal in putting last year’s processor into some models of this year’s flagship handset is almost certainly to make the two iPhone Pro models stand out from the “standard” ones.

Take the current flagship devices. With the iPhone 13 a series, the primary differentiator is a better camera. (There are other differences, but the camera is the standout.) For the iPhone 14 series, the Pro models could have a better camera and a faster processor.

Ming-Chi Kuo highlighted another difference in Sunday’s tweet, saying, “All four new models will likely come with 6GB RAM, with the difference being LPDDR 5 (14 Pro & 14 Pro Max) vs. LPDDR 4X (14 & 14 Max).” To put that in layman’s terms, it means the Pro models will have faster RAM and therefore better performance.

Kuo has a long history of breaking news about unannounced Apple devices. He has 72.5% accuracy rating from AppleTrack. But we’re unlikely to know whether his latest tip is correct until he iPhone 14 series launches this autumn.