Apple announced the new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models with a wide range of differences. While the camera and the display are the visual elements that set both devices apart, Apple made sure that the 'Pro' models are faster in terms of performance. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 Plus feature the A15 chip, while the iPhone 14 Pro models are equipped with the latest and greatest A16 Bionic chip. However, it has been recently discovered that the A16 Bionic chip costs Apple more than twice in comparison to the A15 chip.
A16 Bionic Chip in iPhone 14 Pro Models Cost Apple More Than Twice as Much as Last Year's A15 Chip in iPhone 13 Pro
According to a report shared by Nikkei Asia, the A16 Bionic chip in the iPhone 14 Pro models costs Apple $110 to make. The number is 2.4 times more than what Apple paid for the A15 chip in last year's iPhone 13 Pro. Since the chip is manufactured using TSMC's 4nm process, it is potentially one of the reasons for the increase in cost. In comparison, last year's A15 Bionic chip is a 5nm chip.
Presumably, as chip miniaturization continues, the chip prices would increase as well. It was previously rumored that Apple's A17 Bionic chip in next year's iPhone 15 Pro will be based on TSMC's 3nm process. In addition to this, it was also reported that TSMC will also begin mass production of 2nm chips in 2025. Henceforth, we can expect further price hikes for the chips, which could possibly result in increased iPhone prices.
In terms of performance, the A16 Bionic chip features 15 percent to 17 percent faster performance in multi-core score compared to last year's A15 Bionic. Since the A16 Bionic chip is only found in the iPhone 14 Pro models, Apple housed the A15 Bionic chip in the standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. The latter is the same chip that powers the iPhone 13 Pro models and comes with a five-core GPU.
Nikkei Asia found out in collaboration with Fomalhaut Solutions that the average production cost has increased by 20 percent across all models of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro. The report also claims that Apple's profit margins have potentially decreased since Apple did not increase the price of the device in the United States and some other regions. Check out more details in our announcement post.
It remains to be seen how Apple will tackle the increase in production costs of the future A-series chips for the iPhone.