It's not a one-off thing: future non-Pro iPhones will no longer have the latest Apple processors
The most popular iPhone models, which happen to be the more affordable non-Pro versions, will no longer come with the latest Apple processors, a feature that will remain reserved for only the high-end models, according to famed industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Up until now, all new September iPhone models, regardless of their price, shipped with the latest and most powerful Apple chips available. There were differences in design, cameras and other features between the different models in the series, but the processor was shared across the model range.
Brand new strategy
This changes this year when only the Pro models will get the new Apple A16 Bionic, while the non-Pro versions will have the same A15 processor as the previous gen models. We have already heard this kind of reporting earlier, but what is new here is Kuo's affirmation that this is likely to become the new strategy for Apple going forward. Previously, there was hope that this was a temporary solution to the global chip shortage, but alas, this doesn't seem to be the case.
9to5Mac have confirmed the move with independent sources, so it seems set in stone.As for the iPhone 14 series processor split between Pro and non-Pro models, both Bloomberg and
Interestingly, Apple already does something similar with its iPads. We have seen numerous budget and mid-range models launched with older processors. This did not seem to bother many people, however, it hits different with iPhones not least because of expectations and the tradition that you get the best chip with a new iPhone.
New Pro camera elevates certain suppliers
Traditionally, the best selling new iPhone every year is the basic non-Pro model (like the iPhone 13 currently), while each of the more expensive Pro models is slightly behind in terms of sales volume. With this new change, however, expectations are that more people will flock to the Pro versions with their latest chips and this will tip the balance in favor of those more expensive models.
Kuo expects high-end iPhone sales to jump to 55-60% of the total iPhone volume in the second half of this year, up from a 40% to 50% share in the past. Ultimately, this might actually turn out to be a good thing for Apple's financials.
The iPhone 14 Pro series are expected to ship with a new 48MP main camera, the first major camera upgrade in quite a while. With higher shipments for those models, suppliers of the camera module are also expected to see their orders increase and the financial gains that come with that.
The list of these suppliers includes Sony, which makes the camera sensors, Largan that is responsible for the camera lens, Alps that makes the VCM/OIS modules, and LG Innotek which makes the CCM module. All of those companies are likely to see a big revenue boost if these rumors come to fruition.
The big iPhone 14 reveal should happen in the middle of September, so we are only two months away from the big event, if all goes to plan of course.