Apple 2020 iPhones Rumored With 5nm A14 Bionic And Snapdragon X55 5G Modem

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Apple's 2019 family of smartphone consists of the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The new family represented yet another yearly refresh with a heavy emphasis placed on the cameras and battery life. However, the 2020 iPhone lineup is expected to be the most significant step forward for the family since... perhaps, the iPhone X.

According to a new report from the Japanese publication Nikkei, the 2020 iPhones will be powered by the [obvious] A14 Bionic SoC. This will allegedly be the first Apple SoC to use TSMC's new 5nm process tech. The shift to 5nm should allow for even greater increases in performance, while reducing power consumption compared to the 7nm A13 Bionic.

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The iPhone 11 has already achieved significant gains in battery life compared to its predecessor thanks in part to the A13 Bionic and the inclusion of vastly larger batteries. The iPhone 11 Pro boosts battery life by 4 hours over its iPhone XS predecessor, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max lasts 5 hours longer per charge than its iPhone XS Max counterpart.

Any efficiency gains with the A14 Bionic (along with any potential battery improvements) will be welcome considering that next year's iPhones will be the first to embrace 5G technology. In fact, all three of the Apple's 2020 iPhones will feature 5G connectivity.

The first-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modems found in Android flagships can put a serious dent in battery life, but Apple won't be using these nearly year-old chips. Instead, Apple is rumored to use Qualcomm's second-generation Snapdragon X55 5G modem, which is built on a 7nm process.

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The Snapdragon X55 is more power efficient than its predecessor, and offers peak 5G download/upload speeds of 7Gbps and 3Gbps respectively. However, Apple's reliance on Qualcomm 5G modems won't be a long-term solution. Instead, Apple will leverage its acquisition of Intel's modem assets to fuel its own solutions. It's reported that Apple could make its first smartphones available with its own SoCs with 5G connectivity built-in as soon as 2021.

The big question is how will Apple price next year’s iPhones given that all of them will incorporate 5G technology? Apple actually reduced the price of the iPhone 11 compared to its iPhone XR predecessor, while the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max held the line on pricing. Will Apple again fight the urge to raise prices, or will it pass on those higher component costs to customers?

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