New iPhone 14 rumor is a huge surprise — this would be a first for Apple

iPhone 14 Pro front and back in white
(Image credit: the Hacker 34)

The gap between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro could be getting wider according to a fresh rumor that says that the two types of iPhone will use different chipsets rather than the same one for the first time.

Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed in a recent tweet that Apple will have a new A16 Bionic chipset to show off later this year, but it'll only be found in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max would instead keep the A15 chip used by the current iPhone 13 line-up.

This is a big claim, since every single generation of iPhone, including the smaller "S" upgrades, has introduced a new chipset used by every model in the family. That's not to say that Apple couldn't change this pattern, but it would be a very big departure.

In addition, there could also be a RAM difference. All four iPhone 14 models will have 6GB RAM according to Kuo, a boost from 4GB on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini. However, the base models would use LPDDR 4X RAM like the current iPhone 13 range, while the Pro models will allegedly get faster and more efficient LPDDR 5 RAM.

If these claims are true, then to some extent it's a great idea. Apple's chips continue to be far more powerful than anything found in the best Android phones, so even if the basic iPhone 14 models use year-old silicon, they'll still offer an excellent experience for users.

Analysis: The iPhone 14 Pro could be way more Pro

The big question will be whether Apple decides to reduce the price for the non-Pro iPhones in exchange for using older chips. If it did so, then the standard iPhone 14 would become a lot more appealing for upgraders and new iPhone users. If not, then people looking to upgrade might feel short-changed that they're paying the same $800 for a phone that doesn't have the newest tech inside.

Apple could also decide that giving the Pro models the new A16 chips would be a reason to increase the cost of the Pro models. The Pro and Pro Max iPhones have been among the most expensive phones of their generation each year, so bumping the price higher would make them a harder sell from a value perspective. Then again, Samsung charges $1,199 for the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which is $100 more than the iPhone 13 Pro Max, so Apple could go higher. 

What seems certain is that Apple is trying to create more differences between its standard and Pro iPhones. We've already seen the addition of a telephoto camera, a ProMotion 120Hz display, higher storage capacity options and different handset sizes. 

A previous rumor from analyst Jeff Pu for the iPhone 14 Pro models said it would have 8GB RAM, but he has since changed his prediction to be in line with the 6GB that Kuo's now claimed. Pu did also say that the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max could start with 64GB storage, rather than 128GB as they do now. Downgrading the storage didn't make sense at the time, but in light of Apple possibly using older chips on the non-Pro iPhone 14 models, perhaps it also intends to offer lower storage capacities too to either make the phones cheaper or encourage users to upgrade to the Pro models.

We're expecting the iPhone 14 series to debut in September, as it has in most years since Apple revealed it. Other big rumored changes are the new punch-hole camera and Face ID notches on the Pro models, moving away from the notch, which would be yet another detail that would move the Pro and non-Pro iPhone 14 series further apart.

Next: Read our new iPhone SE 2022 review to see how it stacks up. 

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is 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.