iPhone 16 Performance Parity? Code Leak Hints At A18 Chip For Every Model

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It appears as if Apple’s upcoming iPhone 16 lineup will all be sporting the same A18 chip, according to a snippet of code that X/Twitter user Nicolás Álvarez (@nicolas09F9) shared with MacRumors. This would be a change in strategy by Apple, which used faster chips in last year’s iPhone 15 Pro models to differentiate them from the standard models. Moreover, the code snippet shows that there will be five new iPhone models instead of the usual four.

The discovered iPhone identifiers all use the same iPhone17,x naming scheme. The number 17 indicates which chip the phone will be using, in this case it will be the A18. Last year’s models had differences in the identifier, with the iPhone 15 Pro models using iPhone16,x and the standard iPhones 15 models using iPhone15,x. The Pro models housed the A17 Pro chip while the non-Pro models came with the A16 Bionic chip.

The change is most likely the result of Apple’s big push into the AI space. The majority of Apple Intelligence features are meant to run directly on the device, which lead to a limited rollout on the iPhones currently available. As of now, the only models that are able to run Apple Intelligence are the iPhone 15 Pro models, which constitutes a small part of its user base.

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Having such a small subset of users able to access Apple Intelligence isn’t going to deliver the revenue Apple is hoping for, which is the reason for the chip parity. It needs as many of its users tapping into the upcoming AI features as it can muster, so that it can make more money from its AI partnerships. It will also increase the potential pool of users that it can convince to switch to a subscription service the company hopes to launch later on.

That there will be five new iPhones is also interesting. The most likely scenario is that the fifth iPhone will be an updated iPhone SE model, which hasn’t been updated since 2022. This model has been Apple’s lowest price offering geared towards enticing value conscious customers. It’s unknown whether or not an updated physical design will follow, or if Apple will continue to use the iPhone 8 design circa 2017.

This is a nice bit of news for iPhone fans, as the use of different chips in the Pro models felt like a move made to justify the difference in price tags. Apple should be unveiling the iPhone 16 lineup later this year.