iPhone 13 surprise — over 100 million A15 chips reportedly ordered

iPhone 13 Pro orange
(Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

If you think the iPhone 13 is going to be a ho-hum launch, you might want to think again, as Apple is allegedly anticipating huge demand for the new iPhone.

Chinese site CNBeta (via MacRumors) reports that Apple has ordered more than 100 million A15 Bionic chips for the iPhone 13. This information is reportedly based on supply chain sources and gives us an idea of the potential scale of the iPhone 13 launch.

Earlier this month Bloomberg reported that Apple wants to boost iPhone 13 production by 20% over last year’s output. This signals that the company would be expecting even bigger sales for the iPhone 13 compared to the iPhone 12. The earlier Bloomberg report said Apple was looking to produce 90 million units through the end of the year, up from 75 million units of the iPhone 12.

The A15 Bionic chip will reportedly be made by TSMC, and while it should be based on the same 5-nanometer architecture as the A14 chip and sport a similar 6-core CPU, there should be some upgrades this time around. The A15 is said to offer improvements in performance and power efficiency.

CNBeta speculates that Apple may “target battery life” for this year’s launch, as Apple is already ahead of the competition. However, the performance of the rumored Snapdragon 895 chip is apparently quite strong, and Samsung is working with AMD on a new Exynos chip that could power the Galaxy S22.

The good news is that Apple is also reportedly increasing the battery size for all four iPhone 13 models, which would be a welcome upgrade. After all, only the iPhone 12 Pro Max impressed us on our web surfing battery test. All three other models underwhelmed.

In terms of other upgrades, the iPhone 13 is rumored to offer a faster 5G modem, Wi-Fi 6E connectivity and camera improvements like an astrophotography mode and portrait mode video. We also anticipated a less obtrusive notch for the iPhone 13 series that should be 25% smaller.

The iPhone 13 Pro series looks to be more exciting, with the rumored addition of a 120Hz ProMotion display and always-on display. In addition, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max are both tipped to offer improved ultra-wide cameras with wider apertures and auto focus. 

The iPhone 13 is set to make its debut this fall, likely in September, so we don't have long to wait to see if these rumors come to fruition. 

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.