Here's how the iPhone 13 will keep its edge over the Galaxy S21

iPhone 13
(Image credit: Ben Geskin)

Even with the Samsung Galaxy S21 launch a few hours away, iPhone 13 rumors are heating up. And the latest buzz around Apple’s 2021 phones suggest that Apple may have found a way to maintain its performance edge over its Android rivals.

You don’t have to be much of a detective to conclude that this year’s iPhones will likely be powered by Apple’s A15 chip, following the a14 Bionic found in the iPhone 12 lineup. But a pair of reports this week claim that the upcoming chip will use a new process method that could improve performance.

According to GizChina and MacOtakara, Apple is indeed already working on the iPhone 13, which is likely to feature four different models. And the A15 chip powering those phones will reportedly use TSMC’s second-generation 5nm+ process.

The A14 Bionic was the first 5-nanometer chip included in Apple’s phones, which improved both performance and efficiency from the previous generation. This time around, MacOtakara reports that the A15 chip will feature better power consumption thanks to the new process being used by TSMC, which makes the Apple-designed chips for the company’s smartphones.

The same source indicates that the eventual A16 chip set to debut in 2022 will likely be based on TSMC's 4nm production process in the name of improving density and efficiency. 

Beyond the A15 5nm+ processor, MacOtakara noted there likely won't be too many differences between the iPhone 13 line and the iPhone 12 phones already available, beyond the overall thickness. That’s by about 0.26 mm, while the iPhone 13's rear camera will increase around 0.9 mm. 

As is always the case with rumors this far ahead of a new product's release, it’s best to take any reports with a grain of salt. We’re not expecting the iPhone 13 to arrive before the fall so there’s plenty of time between now and then for more details about Apple’s phones to emerge.

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.