Exciting news has surfaced regarding the upcoming iPhone 15, and I'm here to share the latest insights with you. While we've already seen many leaks that showcase the impressive upgrades of Apple's newest lineup, there have been lingering questions about the pricing, particularly for the Pro models, which were expected to see a significant increase of up to $200. But hold on to your seats because there's a dramatic twist in the tale.
In a surprising move, Apple is allegedly making changes to the manufacturing process of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max's A17 chipset. The goal is to make the chip more affordable to produce, even if it means sacrificing some efficiency compared to the current A17 chipset used in this year's models. This intriguing information comes from a reliable Weibo poster known as Cell Phone Chip Expert, who has gained quite a following for their accurate chip production leaks.
Let's dive deeper into the details. The A17 chipset used in this year's iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max follows the advanced N3B process, which boasts a cutting-edge three nanometer (3nm) chip fabrication technology. TSMC, the manufacturer of Apple's chipsets, claims that the N3B process consumes up to 35% less power while delivering better performance than the 5nm A16 chips found in the previous generation's iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
Now, here's where the twist comes in. Apple plans to transition to a cost-reducing N3E process for the A17 chipset next year. While the N3E process is still 3nm, it has a reduced logic density, which makes it easier and more cost-effective to manufacture. However, there is a downside to this change. The reduced logic density could result in slightly higher power consumption, potentially affecting battery life.
What really caught my attention was the timing of this transition. According to the leaker, the switch to the N3E process will take place in 2024, which falls right in the middle of the iPhone 15 lineup's lifecycle. It's not uncommon for Apple to switch component manufacturers midcycle, but it is highly unusual for the core chip to undergo such a significant process change.
Now, let's address the burning question: How will this impact the pricing of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max? While my contacts have endorsed this transition, they also suggest that any cost savings for Apple are unlikely to be passed down to customers. As a result, we can still expect price increases for the Pro models.
But fear not! There might be a silver lining to this situation. My guess is that this chip switch could be in preparation for the next generation's iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, rather than a midcycle upgrade for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Apple has a history of using previous year's Pro technology in their standard models, and finding a more cost-effective way to produce the A17 chip for the iPhone 16 series in 2024 would align with this pattern.
Regardless of any potential midcycle production cost savings, it appears that customers will be paying more for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max this year. But in return, they can look forward to an updated super thin bezel design, improved cameras, and a new customizable Action Button. Plus, the entire iPhone 15 range will move to USB-C, which is another exciting development.
Now, the big question remains: Will these upgrades be enough to entice upgraders? Well, the opinions of leakers and analysts differ on this matter. While one prominent leaker dismisses the iPhone 15 range as "too mediocre of an upgrade," analysts still anticipate record