A15 and M1 Chips Could Stick Around for Longer Than Expected as Apple Chip Upgrades Slow Down

Apple's custom silicon chip upgrades may be slowing down, with the company reportedly planning to stick with existing chips in multiple new devices, according to recent reports.

m1 ipad air hands on
In a tweet posted after Apple's spring "Peek Performance" event, insightful Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the 2022 MacBook Air will feature the M1 chip, rather than the next-generation M2 chip.

Everything we have heard about the new MacBook Air until now has said that it will feature the M2 chip with an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU, and there have even been signs of this chip spotted in macOS Monterey. Despite this, Kuo has since confirmed to MacRumors that he believes the next ‌MacBook Air‌ will still contain an ‌M1‌ chip, although he said it could be a modified version of the existing ‌M1‌, presumably to help differentiate it from the current ‌MacBook Air‌.

Apple launched the current ‌MacBook Air‌ in November 2020, featuring the ‌M1‌ chip in the same design as the previous model. It seems plausible that Apple could be planning to entice customers to buy the new model with its complete redesign, MagSafe charging, new display, and more, rather than with a new chip.

The ‌M1‌ was introduced with the ‌MacBook Air‌, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini in November 2020, but Apple put the chip in a new device as recently as March this year, with the fifth-generation iPad Air. With the ‌M1‌ chip now being present in four Macs and two iPads, it seems plausible that Apple could be committed to maintaining the same chip across its devices for longer, rather than fragment its product lineups with different chips in similar devices.

Another rumor suggests that the ‌M1‌ chip is not the only Apple silicon chip to be eked out in successive devices. It now looks like the iPhone 14 and "‌iPhone 14‌ Max" may contain the same A15 Bionic chip from the iPhone 13 lineup, with the next-generation A16 chip being exclusively reserved for the high-end iPhone 14 Pro and ‌iPhone 14 Pro‌ Max models. According to these recent rumors, it may be the case that Apple is moving to retain the same chips on its devices for multiple generations, at least for consumer-level devices.

Reserving the A16 chip for the ‌iPhone 14 Pro‌ and ‌iPhone 14 Pro‌ Max could provide further differentiation between the standard and "Pro" iPhone lineups, enabling the high-end devices to offer next-level performance compared to the lower-cost models. Different chips would add to the current differences in terms of materials, memory, ProMotion, battery life, and camera capabilities between the Pro and non-Pro ‌iPhone‌ models.

While the move to seemingly slow down chip upgrades could be intentional, the global chip shortage and delays with TSMC's next-generation fabrication processes may also be to blame. In addition, there may be other factors like development costs and economies of scale that make retaining the same chip for longer more lucrative, as well as a desire to offer a bigger performance and efficiency jump with the innovation that can be achieved over a longer period of time.

Related Stories

macbook air rounded mock purple

Redesigned MacBook Air Could Miss Out on M2 Chip

Monday March 28, 2022 2:46 am PDT by
Apple's long-rumored redesigned MacBook Air could miss out on the next-generation "M2" chip and retain the M1 chip instead, according to insightful Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a tweet posted after Apple's spring "Peek Performance" event, Kuo provided some more details about the 2022 MacBook Air, including the suggestion that the new device will feature the M1 chip, rather than the...
m2 feature

Apple Continuing Work on M2 Chip With Help From Samsung

Thursday April 21, 2022 4:49 am PDT by
Apple is continuing its work on the upcoming "M2" chip with help from Samsung Electro-Mechanics, ET News reports. Samsung Electro-Mechanics supplies the flip chip ball grid array (FC-BGA), a printed circuit board used to connect the semiconductor chip to the main substrate, for the M1 chip. This detail did not emerge until almost a year after the M1 chip was introduced, when it was uncovered ...
13 inch macbook pro m2 mock feature 2

Apple Testing at Least Nine New Macs With Four Different M2 Chip Variants

Thursday April 14, 2022 4:15 pm PDT by
Apple is internally testing several variants of the next-generation M2 chip and the updated Macs that will be equipped with them, reports Bloomberg, citing developer logs. There are "at least" nine new Macs in development that use four different M2 chips that are successors to the current M1 chips. Apple is working on devices with standard M2 chips, the M2 Pro, the M2 Max, and a successor to ...
macbook air rounded mock purple

MacBook Air and 'MacBook' With M2 Chips Slated for Launch Later This Year

Thursday March 10, 2022 1:52 pm PST by
Apple is working on the successor to the M1 chip, expected to be called the M2, and multiple rumors have already suggested that these chips are going to be used in machines that include a refreshed MacBook Air and a new version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. A new report today from 9to5Mac once again reiterates these rumors, with the site claiming that Apple will introduce a MacBook Air and a...
iMac Pro 2022 27 and 24 iMac

Apple Already Working On iMac With 'M3' Chip, iMac Pro Also Under Development But Won't Launch Anytime Soon

Monday April 25, 2022 1:59 am PDT by
Apple is already working on an iMac that features the "M3" Apple silicon chip, alongside development on at least nine new Macs that feature the company's next-generation of Apple silicon, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has reported. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman has said that work on an iMac with an M3 chip is already underway, but specific details of the iMac, including...
m3 feature black

Macs With 'M3' Chips Expected to Use TSMC's 3nm Chip Technology With Test Production Reportedly Underway

Thursday December 2, 2021 7:36 am PST by
Apple's chipmaking partner TSMC has kicked off pilot production of chips built on its 3nm process, known as N3, according to Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report, citing unnamed industry sources, claims that TSMC will move the process to volume production by the fourth quarter of 2022 and start shipping 3nm chips to customers like Apple and Intel in the first quarter of...
M2 Pro and Max Feature

Apple Readying M2 Pro and M2 Max Chips for Next-Gen MacBook Pro

Wednesday April 20, 2022 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is readying the "M2 Pro" and "M2 Max" chips for next-generation Macs, including the high-end MacBook Pro, according to recent reports. "M2 Pro" and "M2 Max" are presumed to succeed the M1 Pro and M1 Max custom silicon chips, and Apple is already believed to be testing these chips internally. Just as the M1 Pro and M1 Max are scaled-up versions of the M1 chip, the M2 Pro and M2 Max will ...
m2 feature

M2 Chip Rumored to Arrive in 2022 With Redesigned MacBook Air

Tuesday July 6, 2021 5:58 am PDT by
Apple is planning to launch the "M2" chip with redesigned MacBook Air models in the first half of 2022, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." On Twitter, Dylandkt claimed that a new MacBook Air model is "on track" to launch in the first half of 2022, featuring an M2 chip and a more colorful design. They also claimed that the "M1X" chip is being reserved for high-end "Pro" Macs, which...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
apple music

Apple Increases Apple Music Subscription Price for Students in Several Countries

Sunday May 22, 2022 1:57 am PDT by
Apple has silently increased the price of its Apple Music subscription for college students in several countries, with the company emailing students informing them their subscription would be slightly increasing in price moving forward. The price change is not widespread and, based on MacRumors' findings, will impact Apple Music student subscribers in but not limited to Australia, the...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...