Apple’s upcoming iPhone 15 Pro lineup could spur “replacement demand” among owners of older iPhones. Demand could be sparked due to the significant improvements in the A17 processor, which is the first iPhone processor fabricated using TSMC‘s first-generation 3-nanometer process.
The latest DigiTimes industry report says suppliers in the iPhone supply chain tell it that TSMC’s N3E (3nm enhanced) technology allows for a significant upgrade in the chip:
TSMC’s N3E (3nm enhanced) technology will enable significant specification upgrades in the upcoming iPhone series, the sources said. Suppliers involved in the iPhone supply chain anticipate replacement demand for the 2023 models.
Apple is widely expected to use TSMC’s 3nm technology this year for its A17 Bionic chip destined to power the Cupertino firm’s iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models.
TSMC’s first-gen 3nm process (also known as N3) is said to deliver a 35% power efficiency improvement, as well as a significant performance boost, over TSMC’s 5nm-based N4 fabrication process, which was used to fabricate the A16 Bionic chip used in the current iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max handsets.
Apple has reportedly secured 100% of the initial orders for the first-gen 3nm technology, indicating that rival smartphone vendors like Samsung are waiting for prices to come down in what is expected to be a down 2023 for the Android market amid global economic turbulence.
While Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will use the faster A17 chips, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models will use the A16 chip currently used in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 15 lineup sometime in September. The new handsets are expected to replace the traditional Lightning port with a USB-C port, have more RAM, be powered by an A17 Bionic chip, and boast WiFi 6E connectivity, Apple is also expected to make some minor design updates to the iPhone 15 Pro chassis, adding a deeper curve to the handset’s edges. The company is also said to be transitioning to a titanium material instead of stainless steel.