Apple Increases A18 Chip Orders for iPhone 16 Demand

Apple has significantly increased its order of next-generation chips from TSMC to between 90 million and 100 million units. This decision follows heightened demand expectations for its upcoming iPhone 16 series, according to Taiwanese outlet CTEE.

Increased Chip Orders Reflect High Demand

Last year, Apple’s initial chip order volume for the iPhone 15 series was believed to be around 80-90 million units. The increased order for the iPhone 16 series suggests that Apple anticipates higher demand for its 2024 devices, possibly in the region of 10 million additional units.

Apple Intelligence in iOS 18 to Drive Sales

The introduction of Apple Intelligence in iOS 18 is expected to boost initial sales of the devices. Notably, Apple Intelligence requires at least an iPhone 15 Pro to run. This means owners of last year’s iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will miss out on Apple’s new AI features unless they upgrade to an iPhone 15 Pro or choose one of the new iPhone 16 models.

Chip and RAM Upgrades Across All Models

Last year, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus were equipped with the A16 Bionic chip, while the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max featured the A17 Pro chip, manufactured using TSMC’s second-generation 3nm process, known as “N3E.” This process is less expensive and has improved yield compared to the previous-generation N3B.

This year, all four models in the iPhone 16 lineup are expected to use A18-branded chips manufactured using the N3E process. Despite the switch to N3E, the A18 chip in the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus is likely to adopt the A17 Pro design used in the iPhone 15 Pro models. Meanwhile, the iPhone 16 Pro and ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ Max are likely to feature a chip branded as “A18 Pro,” which could include an upgraded Neural Engine with more cores, enabling improved AI and machine learning performance.

RAM Upgrade for Standard Models

The standard iPhone 16 models could be upgraded with 8GB of RAM, up from 6GB in the iPhone 15 models. This would result in all four iPhone 16 models offering 8GB of RAM, which Apple suggests is the minimum requirement for running large-language models (the algorithms that power AI) locally on the device, rather than in the cloud.

Expected Release Date

Based on previous years, Apple is expected to release the iPhone 16 series in the fall, around mid-September. For more detailed information, be sure to check our dedicated iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro roundups.

MacReview’s Take

Apple’s decision to significantly increase A18 chip orders underscores their confidence in the anticipated high demand for the iPhone 16 series. The introduction of Apple Intelligence in iOS 18 and the requirement for the latest hardware will likely drive upgrades. With improvements in RAM and advanced chip technology across all models, the iPhone 16 lineup is set to offer enhanced performance and capabilities. At MacReview, we’re excited to see how these advancements will elevate the user experience and set new standards in smartphone technology.

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