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Daily Authority: 🤯 Apple's wildly different Pro strategy
☕ Good morning! Shenzhen in China is now on lockdown, per China’s zero-Covid ambitions. Apple assembler Foxconn has already halted production, which may affect things like the new Mac Studio, but the majority of iPhone production is out of Zhengzhou, aka “iPhone City,” and isn’t affected (yet).
Apple’s next A16 chip might be for Pro models only
Ooh, this is a juicy one.
- “Veteran Apple tipster and TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted that only Apple’s two iPhone 14 Pro models will receive the brand-new A16 Bionic processor. Meanwhile, the two non-Pro variants are said to keep the A15 Bionic chipset seen on the iPhone 13 range. The analyst further claims that the Pro models will receive LPDDR5 RAM while the non-Pro models will receive the older LPDDR4X standard.”
- “Furthermore, Kuo posted an earlier tweet claiming that the four new iPhone 14 models could be called the iPhone 14 (featuring a 6.1-inch screen), iPhone 14 Max (6.7-inch screen), iPhone 14 Pro (6.1 inches), and iPhone 14 Pro Max (6.7 inches). In other words, the 5.4-inch Mini model is gone in favor of a more affordable large-screen iPhone.”
So, in short: the next iPhone, expected to be the iPhone 14, will get the usual four models (though no Mini!). But only the Pro models will get the next-gen chip.
- For some inside baseball, Ming-Chi Kuo is a long-time, mostly accurate analyst of Apple so you can usually take these leaks to the bank. (When he’s wrong, it’s usually about timing of new devices as Apple decided to wait on a new product or chip.)
- Additionally, 9to5Mac said it had “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.”
- (The difference to the usual releases from Ming-Chi Kuo is that he’s now on Twitter, whereas previously, he published reveals only via his workplace at TF International Securities, which sells the data to investors.)
- That said, the tweet did half break people’s brains because this is so unexpected.
- Kuo’s Twitter account is now also mixing thoughts with “leaks,” which is fine — people don’t exactly withhold tweeting their thoughts, but it does complicate the clarity of data versus projection.
What it means:
- On the basis that this is accurate: wow! What a departure for Apple.
- The equivalent would be the next Samsung Galaxy, say the S23 Ultra, having the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, while the S23 Pro and S23 base model have the 8 Gen 1.
- (Some other Android flagships do this: The Oppo Find X5 Pro has the 8 Gen 1 while the non-Pro has the 888, but Samsung has never done this; nor has Apple to date.)
- To me, it seems like Apple is saying: our processor performance is so far ahead, we can still crush the competition with our last-gen chip, and give consumers extra reasons to upgrade to the higher-margin Pro and Pro Max products.
- It is also the case that Apple hasn’t delivered enormous gains between generations.
- Comparing the iPhone SE generations, Apple itself published that the difference between the A13 Bionic and the A15 Bionic, in graphics, was only a “1.2x gain,” which is less than a 10% increase per year.
- There are other benefits from the latest chipset of course: better battery life, longer-term support from Apple.
- Other valid reasons Apple might do this: supply chain considerations for next-gen chipsets, M2 production being based on the A15, and more.
- Finally, the other detail from Kuo’s report suggests Apple won’t sell an iPhone Mini in the iPhone 14 series, and instead go for base model and Max branding on both types of Pro and non-Pro iPhone.
📆 Samsung announces a big Galaxy A launch event for this coming week: March 17 for new mid-range and value Galaxy phones (Android Authority).
👉 The excellent YouTube Vanced app has been shut down after legal threats (Android Authority).
⚡ You might actually want to use the 30x zoom on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Android Authority).
🌈 OLED and beyond: What’s next for smartphone displays? Better and better OLEDs, for one. (Android Authority).
🤔 On its road to success, BBK is leaving OnePlus behind: Oppo and Realme seem much much bigger (Android Authority).
😬 Thanks to the Russian invasion, two Ukrainian companies responsible for producing around half of the world’s semiconductor-grade neon have shuttered. The result? Semiconductor scarcity may be worse than ever. (Gizmodo).
👕 Facebook’s parent company will make employees do their own laundry, and dinner will now be available from 6:30 PM, half an hour later. (NYT, gift link for subscribers).
🤍 11 white noise machines examined (Wired).
🔌 PG&E will pilot bidirectional electric car charging in California with Ford and GM (Ars Technica).
🚗 Also: Ford will sell some Explorer SUVs without rear climate controls due to chip shortages (Engadget).
🤔 “What is so ancient that only an Internet veteran can remember?” (r/askreddit). Counters on web pages is a big throwback.
Something about this just makes me laugh so much:
Have a great start to your week,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor