Future non-Pro iPhones no longer expected to use the latest Apple chips

All future Pro-branded iPhones, rather than just this year’s iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, are expected to exclusively use Apple’s latest mobile chips.

A slide from Apple's September 2021 “California Streaming” event showing the Apple A15 Bionic floorplan with the key features highlighted
Image credit: Apple
  • Apple might further differentiate its Pro-branded iPhones from regular ones by exclusively limiting its latest custom silicon to future Pro-branded models.
  • Earlier rumors said that this would only be the case with 2022’s iPhone 14 lineup, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the change to apply to all future iPhone Pros.
  • Assuming Kuo is right, Apple could be adding another important point of differentiation to the iPhone Pro lineup—the processor.

Apple could limit its best chips to the iPhone Pros

People buying Pro-branded iPhones for their screen size, camera quality or battery life may want to add another perk to their list soon: The processor. We’ve heard before that this year’s iPhone 14 Pros would use Apple’s upcoming A16 chip while the non-Pro models should stay on the current A15 chip which first appeared in the iPhone 13 series. Apple has never reserved its latest silicon for Pro-branded iPhones, potentially marking an interesting change of strategy for the technology company.

But as it would seem, Apple might limit its latest mobile chip technology to all future iPhone Pros. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in a post published on Medium that the upcoming A16 chip will be exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro models. As a result, Kuo expects the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max to sell significantly better, making up 55-60 percent of all new iPhone 14 models vs. 40-50 percent in the past.

The latest processor chip will be exclusive to iPhone high-end models in the future, so a high shipment proportion of iPhone high-end models will be the norm, favoring high-end camera component suppliers.

The future, according to Kuo

So this is what future iPhone lineups may look like, according to Kuo:


  • 6.1″ iPhone 14: Apple A15
  • 6.7″ iPhone 14 Max: Apple A15
  • 6.1″ iPhone 14 Pro: Apple A16
  • 6.7″ iPhone 14 Pro Max: Apple A16


  • 6.1″ iPhone 15: Apple A16
  • 6.7″ iPhone 15 Max: Apple A16
  • 6.1″ iPhone 15 Pro: Apple A17
  • 6.7″ iPhone 15 Pro Max: Apple A17


  • You get the idea…

The Apple A17 should be manufactured with TSMC’s three-nanometer process technology, which should yield up to a fifteen percent jump in processing performance and up to thirty percent faster graphics.

The iPhone Pros are all about the camera and Kuo sees significant growth opportunities for the company’s component suppliers, including Sony, Largan, Alps and LG Innotek. Kuo earlier predicted that the iPhone 14 would upgrade the main rear shooter from twelve to 48 megapixels. The enhanced camera should also be able to shoot video in 8K resolution. Read: 5 iPhone camera tips you should know