According to the current information, Apple will at least partially refrain from equipping its new smartphone models with a fresh processor in 2022. If recent rumors are true, the regular iPhone 14 will have the iPhone 13’s A15 chip under the hood. Only the Pro model gets a new A16. A novelty for the manufacturer that doesn’t exactly trigger a storm of enthusiasm among fans. Also with the Apple Watch Series 8 there is current speculation for the third year in a row no performance upgrade for the processor. This raises the question of why in the community. Apple expert and industry insider Mark Gurman has several answers.
Like the journalist in a recent article in the business magazine Bloomberg
explains, he suspects a direct connection between the stagnant iPhone development and the production of in-house Mac processors. Since 2020, Apple has been installing its own silicon chips in its home computers and recently also in the first iPads. However, according to Gurman, the concerns about their enormous performance for a lot of fuss in the processor market for home computers are also gripping Apple’s development department. After all, Apple has released five new Mac processors within a year and a half with the M1, the M1 Pro, the M1 Max, the M1 Ultra and the M2.
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Apple has shifted resources to M1 & Co
As a result, Gurman says Apple has shifted its chip development resources and focused on its silicon processors. The expert suspects that the development of new iPhone components could have suffered as a result. Gurman points out that the jumps in performance of the iPhone chips have steadily decreased over the past few years. As a further indication of a lack of resources in iPhone production, he cites the failed development of an in-house 5G modem, which the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo only recently disclosed.
According to Mark Gurman, there is evidence that Apple’s chip division faces a fundamental shortage of skilled workers. The working conditions there are considered to be particularly demanding and many engineers have quit their jobs in recent years due to overwork. That should also be the reason why Apple is increasingly refraining from developing its own chips for individual devices. As an example, Gurman mentions that the iPad Air now also uses the M1 processor or that the HomePod uses the CPU of the Apple Watch.
Delivery bottlenecks also affect Apple
But it’s not just a lack of manpower that makes Apple difficult when it comes to chip development. According to Mark Gurman, the company is also suffering from the general lack of components. Apple is therefore heavily dependent on the supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), which cannot deliver to the usual extent due to global bottlenecks. In addition, the lack of resources is causing increased prices in chip production.
According to Gurman, Apple only uses the new A16 chip in its expensive iPhone Pro models so that it doesn’t have to be passed on to customers too obviously. The Apple expert considers it risky to neglect the iPhone processors in favor of the Mac chips. Apple continues to generate 60 percent of its sales from smartphones, tablets and smartwatches. Gurman therefore suspects that the manufacturer could also use its silicon chips in iPhone & Co. in the long term.