Production of the iPhone 13's A15 Bionic chip has reportedly started

Production of the iPhone 13's A15 Bionic chip has reportedly started
Even though Apple has warned that iPad and MacBook production could be affected by the ongoing global chip shortage, the iPhone has remained largely untouched, and it looks as though that’ll continue to be the case when the iPhone 13 launches.

The A15 Bionic is now in production at TSMC's facilities

DigiTimes is reporting (via 9to5Mac) that TSMC has started production of the next-generation Apple A15 Bionic chipset, based on the same 5-nanometer manufacturing process as the current-generation A14 Bionic.

Apple is believed to be using TMSC’s improved 5-nanometer process dubbed N5P. It should enable decent performance and efficiency gains, but massive bumps like the ones seen when Apple replaced the A13 with the A14 shouldn’t be expected.

The next major chipset manufacturing process upgrade for Apple will come in 2022 when the company is expected to ship 4-nanometer products. The 3-nanometer process is also coming, though it’s unclear whether it’ll be ready in time for the iPhone 14.

The current chipset production timeline follows Apple’s usual schedule and indicates that the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro are on track for the standard fall release window in mid-to-late September.

Apple’s iPhone 12 series launch was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing it to release some models in October and others in November. A return to the usual schedule should let Apple take better advantage of the holiday season.

Apple is said to be anticipating strong iPhone 13 demand

Four iPhone 13 models with OLED displays are reportedly in the pipeline for this fall: a 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini, 6.1-inch iPhone 13, 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro, and 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Despite the iPhone 12’s stellar performance, Apple appears to be expecting even higher iPhone 13 demand. The company is reportedly planning to manufacture 100 million iPhone 13 units by the end of the year, 20 million more than last year.

Because of that, and the continued success of the iPhone 12 line, Apple has ordered 169 million OLED displays for its smartphones. The move means Apple will surpass Samsung as the world’s largest OLED panel buyer.

At the same time as this, Apple is rumored to be expanding the availability of mmWave 5G. Whereas the tech is only available in the United States with the iPhone 12, the upcoming iPhone 13 line will offer the tech in Canada, Australia, Japan, and major European markets.

iPhone 13 and 13 Pro: expected upgrades and release date

The biggest upgrade on the iPhone 13 is likely to be camera-related, putting them on a path to become some of the best camera phones. All models are said to be receiving noticeably bigger camera sensors, though their resolution is unlikely to be any higher.

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The basic iPhone 13 Pro is also set to inherit the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s sensor-shift stabilization tech and better 2.5x telephoto zoom camera too, a move that’ll bring back camera parity to the Pro series.

Other important changes are coming to the displays. The entire iPhone 13 series is going to feature a smaller notch, the first time this has happened since Apple launched the original iPhone X in 2017.

The bezels probably won’t be any thinner, but the Pro models will be receiving another big upgrade in the form of ProMotion 120Hz tech. The latter is currently used on the iPad Pro and should be able to adapt automatically to different types of content.

Expect the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro to be announced in the first half of September alongside the Apple Watch Series 7. If history is anything to go by, an event could take place on September 7.

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