Apple’s Entire iPhone 16 Lineup Will Get New A18 Chips

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Information discovered in Apple’s backend code indicates Apple has plans to release four models of the iPhone 16 in the fall, all of which will be powered by the same A-series chip.

The code includes mentions of five new iPhone model numbers not associated with any existing iPhones. All of the iPhones include the numbering scheme Apple uses for its flagship iPhones.

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The code, first discovered in Apple’s backend by Nicolás Alvarez and first shared by MacRumors, includes the following identifiers:

  • iPhone17,1
  • iPhone17,2
  • iPhone17,3
  • iPhone17,4
  • iPhone17,5

All five devices start with the same number, indicating that Apple is planning to use the same A-series chip for all of the handsets. In comparison, the models in the current iPhone 15 lineup, which do not all use the same A-series chip, have separate numbers for the internal identifiers.

  • iPhone 15 — iPhone 15,4
  • iPhone 15 Plus — iPhone 15,5
  • iPhone 15 Pro — iPhone 16,1
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max — iPhone 16,2

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models are powered by the A16 Bionic chip, which first powered the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max handsets. Those models carried the identifiers of iPhone 15,2 and iPhone 15,3 for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, respectively. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are powered by the A17 Pro chip, which is the 16,x identifier.

Apple’s iPhone identifiers are traditionally tied to the handset’s chip. The A16 chip uses an identifier starting with 15, while the prior A15 chip uses an identifier starting with 14, the A14 uses a 13,x identifier, and so on.

What all of this means is that if Apple sticks to this numbering scheme, all four iPhone 16 handsets will use the same chip, which aligns with several rumors we’ve seen about the upcoming handsets.

Earlier I said there would be four new iPhone 16 handsets, but the list above shows five identifiers, so what’s up with that? The fifth identifier could be for the much-rumored new iPhone SE, but nothing is certain at the moment.

While it appears that all of the upcoming iPhone 16 models will use a new A18 chip it is still possible that there may be differences between the standard and Pro iPhone 16 models. The chips could be named with A18 and A18 Pro names. It’s possible that the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus could use an A18 chip with a lesser number of GPU cores than the one in the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max, similar to what Apple did with the A15 Bionic chip in the iPhone 13 lineup three years ago.

Due to Apple’s upcoming Apple Intelligence features that are on the way in iOS 18, it is logical that all of the iPhone 16 lineup will use the same A18 chip, thanks to AI’s system requirements, which requires a high-powered processor to power on-device AI features in the new operating system. Apple Intelligence will require an iPhone 15 Pro, an iPhone 15 Pro Max, or a newer iPhone model to run the AI artificial intelligence tasks and other features.

In February of this year, the Economic Daily News reported that Apple’s A18 chips that will power future iPhone models will feature an upgraded Neural Engine, boasting “significantly” more cores.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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