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iPhone 14 rumored two-tier chip approach could continue with iPhone 15

iPhone 14 Pro renders
(Image credit: Madmix)

Several iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro rumors have said that the two sets of phones will use two different chipsets, marking the first time Apple will have a performance gap between its latest phones. Now a source on Weibo (opens in new tab) is claiming that this will happen again with the iPhone 15 next year, too.

While we've not come across this particular source before, we've heard previously from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that "the latest processor chip will be exclusive to iPhone high-end models in the future." That helps add weight to this new claim.

As the iPhone 14 rumors stand, only the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected to use a brand-new chipset, likely named the A16 Bionic going by Apple's current numbering. As for the iPhone 14 and the rumored new iPhone 14 Max model, those will supposedly use an A15 chip, just like you'll find in the iPhone 13 series.

In the case of the iPhone 15 in 2023, the Weibo source says, the A16 chip from the iPhone 14 Pro would then go in the standard models, and Apple would introduce a new A17 chip for the iPhone 15 Pro. Apple still has time to change its plans in the next several months before it needs to finalize the design of the iPhone 15 series, but this plan would fit in with the iPhone 14 rumors thus far.

We haven't made up our minds yet as to whether this rumored two-tier chip plan is good for Apple customers or not. On the one hand, you're arguably getting less for your money since your "new" iPhone could have a 12-month-old chip inside. However, if it's keeping the price down, maybe a little less performance doesn't matter for the average user who wants to upgrade for other reasons.

Since we keep hearing rumors of Apple increasing the price of the iPhone 14 Pro model, it would be good if it could keep the base iPhone models within reach of more customers. Plus even with slightly dated hardware, Apple's huge performance lead over the best Android phones likely means the iPhone 15 would still outperform its rivals even next year.

The latest rumors tell us that the iPhone 14 will appear September 7 at the Apple September Event. Make sure you're on top of all the news and leaks before then by checking back with our iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro hubs regularly.

Read next: iPhone 15 range tipped to get this Pro feature in 2023.

Richard Priday
Staff Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.