What you need to know
- Apple is making a major change to its iPhone lineup this year.
- Reports and rumors indicate Apple will not upgrade the processor in the regular iPhone 14, reserving A16 for the Pro models.
- A new report says Apple will keep doing this in future generations.
New insight from analyst and insider Ming-Chi Kuo indicates that Apple's plans to only upgrade the processor in the iPhone 14 Pro this year will extend beyond this year to future devices.
In a note this week Kuo stated that Apple is focusing on the iPhone 14 Pro and plans to sell more of this compared to the regular iPhone than in previous years as a result. However, he also left a snippet about Apple's future plans for iPhone 15 and beyond:
That's right, Apple's decision to not upgrade the iPhone 14's processor is not just a one-year event. If this report is true (and Kuo's usually are), we can expect future iPhones not to get every single latest and greatest A-series processor upgrade from Apple, which will instead be reserved for Apple's 'Pro' iPhone lineup going forward.
As Mark Gurman noted this week when he reiterated these claims,, this year should mark the first time since Apple started designing its own processors that it will not be upgrading the chip inside its main iPhone. The regular iPhone 14 is expected to retain the A15 chip from Apple's current best iPhone, the iPhone 13.
That might sound disappointing to some, however, Apple has struggled in recent years to differentiate its 'Pro' lineup from the regular phones. A more powerful processor is a very easy way to convince more people they need to make the leap, and will also help keep the price of Apple's regular iPhones down.
Apple's processors have not been a limiting factor in its iPhones for some years, with Apple only including the processing power it needs to deliver the features it includes in each yearly upgrade. It stands to reason that processor upgrades for the 'Pro' models this year and in the future will help unlock more potential in these devices, for instance, better image processing of photos, or control of features like an always-on display, which is another rumored upgrade for the 'Pro' iPhone this year.
Next year's iPhone 15 has already made headlines because Apple is expected to make a major U-turn, ditching its Lightning port in favor of USB-C to comply with new EU regulations.
Like it or not, it looks like Apple's split processor strategy for iPhone 14 is here to stay.
Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9
That's one way to keep those high-profit margins and set apart the "pro" phones when you don't really have any "pro" features to set them apart from the "cheaper" models.
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