If you’ve been paying attention to iPhone 15 rumors over the past few days, you’ll no doubt have heard about various potential delays — which are reportedly due to issues obtaining various parts. So when headlines pop up claiming Apple is facing production issues for 4nm chips, it may raise even more alarm bells in your mind. But, in this case, you might not have to worry so much.
A report from the Wall Street Journal claims that TSMC, the firm responsible for manufacturing Apple’s current slate of chips, is having to delay the start of production at its new Arizona plant. Apparently there’s a shortage of skilled workers messing up the schedule. Thankfully, this shouldn’t impact the iPhone 15 for two clear reasons.
The first, and most important is that the iPhone 15 chips are expected to use TSMC’s 3nm process — as are the reportedly upcoming M3 MacBooks. The other point to remember is that this facility originally wasn’t supposed to start mass production until early next year, which is well after the expected launch of the iPhone 15 family. That means, per the WSJ, that the chips in those devices will likely be coming from Taiwan.
There are plans to build an additional facility to produce 3nm chips for Apple in Arizona, but that wasn’t expected to happen until after production on the 4nm chips began. Since current estimates now suggest 4nm mass production won’t happen in Arizona until 2025, we’re at least a couple of years away from this happening.
That means this particular delay should have no impact on the iPhone 15 series — or potentially even the M3 MacBooks, if rumors of an October launch are accurate.
What happens to Apple’s long-term plans is anyone’s guess at this point. There is a chance that this delay, or any resulting delays branching off from it, may affect Apple’s plans in the future. Then again knowing about those delays ahead of time gives Apple the chance to adjust plans, and source components from elsewhere.
Given Apple’s powerful position in the supply chain, it no doubt has back up plans for its back up plans. So here’s hoping the iPhone 16 series arrives right on time next fall.
Of course the iPhone 15 may be pushed back a little bit regardless. Earlier this week an analyst claimed that the phones could be held up “by a few weeks”, but didn’t specify why that might be. A more recent rumor claims Apple has been having trouble sourcing larger displays for the iPhone 15 Pro. Then, back in May, a different rumor said a delay could happen due to issues producing enough 48MP cameras.
How that will affect the release of the iPhone 15 won’t be confirmed for a handful of weeks yet. But at least we’re not likely to find ourselves waiting on account of Apple being unable to source enough chips.