TSMC might not have 2nm chipsets ready for Apple until iPhone 18 series arrives in 2026

TSMC might not have 2nm chipsets ready for Apple until iPhone 18 series arrives in 2026
Last year, Apple was the first and only smartphone manufacturer to offer any phones powered by a 3nm application processor (AP), the A17 Pro. To make this explanation simple, as the process node declines, the size of the transistors inside the chip get smaller. That means more transistors can fit inside the chip making it more powerful and/or more energy-efficient. TSMC's N3B 3nm first-generation node was used to produce the A 17 Pro chipset used to run the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are powered by the 4nm A16 Bionic which also powered the iPhone 14 Pro models.

This year, the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will be equipped with the A18 Pro AP which will be built using TSMC's second-generation 3nm node (N3E). The iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will be powered by the A18 Bionic which will also be made using TSMC's second-gen N3E 3nm node. The A18 Pro is expected to be more powerful and capable than the A18 Bionic.

A report claiming that TSMC will be ready with its 2nm node in time to be used to produce the A19 Pro and A 19 Bionic chipsets to be used on the iPhone 17 series was shot down in a social media post from China that was translated in a tweet posted by a Vietnamese freelance coder named Nguyen Phi Hung. The social media post, when translated, says, "This is 1000000% false information. Mass production of TSMC 2nm will take until the second half of 2026, which will not be able to keep up with iPhone 17 series in 2025."

If this is true, we could see the Galaxy S26 series become the first smartphones to use a 2nm chip should Qualcomm pay TSMC to use the 2nm node for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 5 SoC in 2026. On the other hand, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 will be the first 3nm Snapdragon AP so it isn't so clear whether Qualcomm would go from 3nm to 2nm so quickly.

If the naysayers are correct and TSMC won't be ready to build enough 2nm chipsets in time for the iPhone 17 series next year, we could see the 2nm process node make its Apple debut with the A20 Pro and A20 Bionic chipsets which would be employed on the iPhone 18 series.

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