iPhone 15 Pro could see longer battery life thanks to new chip lineup
Next-generation chips from Apple partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. have just entered mass production, the company announced Thursday. TSMC highlights the reduced power consumption of the new chip, possibly signaling longer battery life for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max.
The new chips will be built on a 3-nanometer process, which TSMC says will require 30% to 35% less energy compared to its 5-nanometer chips. However, since Apple designs its own processors for the iPhone, it’s impossible to know exactly what to expect from the next iPhone based solely on TSMC’s advancements. Instead, the news suggests that TSMC’s 3-nanometer processor technology will be available for Apple to use in the next iPhone if it chooses to do so. The hardware also doesn’t tell the whole story when it comes to battery life; software also plays a big role.
TSMC also draws comparisons between its 3nm and 5nm chips when it comes to power consumption. The A16 Bionic processor that powers the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max is built on a 4-nanometer process. Still, circuit miniaturization usually results in better performance because more features can fit inside the chip, as my colleague Stephen Shankland points out in his coverage of the A16 Bionic.
If Apple sticks to the strategy it followed with the iPhone 14 generation, its new smartphone chip will only arrive in what are expected to be called the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. The iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, for example, run on Apple’s new A16 Bionic chip, while Apple’s previous-generation A15 Bionic processor powers the classic iPhone 14 and 14 Plus. Assuming Apple keeps the same naming convention, its next iPhone chip will likely be called the A17 Bionic.
Apple did not immediately respond to CNET’s request for comment on what TSMC’s new chip might mean for the iPhone 15.
Apple usually releases new iPhone models in September. It’s possible the iPhone 15 line could be the company’s first phone to use USB-C charging instead of Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector thanks to new European Union regulations. Otherwise, rumors suggest that a periscope-style telephoto lens and new solid-state buttons may be in store for Apple’s upcoming iPhones.