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iPhone 14 Pro chip leak could be bad news — here's why

iphone 14 pro render
(Image credit: Front Page Tech / Ian Zelbo)

The iPhone 14 Pro may not be quite the step up from the current generation that fans are hoping for. 

According to the leaker ShrimpApplePro (opens in new tab), the A16 Bionic chipset set to power the upcoming Pro versions of the iPhone 14 will retain the same 5nm manufacturing process of the A15, rather than moving to 4nm. In other words, it will keep the same amount of transistors per slice of silicon as the past three generations of iPhone.

Notably, this goes against previous supply chain rumors, and while ShrimpApplePro does describe the source as “fairly reliable” it should still be taken “with a big grain of MSG”.

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If correct, it would limit the generational performance improvement that would-be buyers can expect from the new iPhone 14 Pro, with improvements limited to a “slightly better” CPU, GPU and memory performance.

Specifically on the last point, ShrimpApplePro agrees with analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that the A16 will feature LPDDR 5 memory, which is both up to 1.5x faster and offers 30% more power efficiency than the LPDDR 4X memory used in the A15.

While these improvements are still undoubtedly nice to have, the real winner of this could be the vanilla iPhone 14, which is rumored to be keeping the A15 chip used in last year’s models. If the performance upgrade isn’t that big a deal, then maybe buyers don’t have too much to lose by opting for the cheaper pick this year. They won’t even have to miss out on the big-screen experience, as rumor has it Apple is ditching the mini for an iPhone 14 Max (though they may have to wait for it).  

On top of this, ShrimpApplePro’s source has some insights into the Apple Silicon line of computer chips. Firstly, the M2 chip will jump directly to 3nm, meaning Apple will apparently skip 4nm entirely for its laptops and desktops. 

But before then, the M1 chip may get one final swansong with updated cores, the leaker claims. Following on from the vanilla M1 and its Pro, Max and Ultra variants, this new model will have energy-efficient “Blizard” cores paired with high-performance “Avalanche” ones.

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Whether this is the most powerful chip of all, and destined for the upcoming Mac Pro or just a twist on the original M1 for the MacBook Air 2022 remains to be seen.

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.