iPhone 14 to Feature Same Chip as iPhone 13
In March, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that only the iPhone 14 Pro models will feature the A16 chip, with the standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max models to be equipped with the A15 Bionic chip just like the iPhone 13. In an April edition of his newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman agreed that standard iPhone 14 models are "likely to stick to the A15 from last year or a variant of it." The rumor has since been echoed by other sources like Taiwanese research firm TrendForce.
This differs from Apple's strategy to date of equipping all of the latest iPhones with the same chip. For example, the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max all contain the A15 chip.
The standard iPhone 14 models could still have slightly better performance than the iPhone 13, even though they will contain the same A15 chip, according to the leaker known as "ShrimpApplePro." Despite retaining "some old hardware," the non-Pro iPhone 14 models will "still have some overall performance boost over the iPhone 13 series," due to a new cellular modem and a new internal design, among other changes.
These other improvements could include more memory, with the all of the iPhone 14 models expected to feature 6GB of memory, 2GB more than the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14's new, more efficient modem is expected to be physically smaller, use less power, and offer a high level of performance. As such, ShrimpApplePro's claim that the iPhone 14 will still offer performance improvements seems plausible.
Both the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro contain the A15 Bionic chip. While the chips in both iPhones are physically the same, the GPU in the iPhone 13 Pro contains one additional active core for slightly better performance from the iPhone 13 Pro when performing activities such as gaming or video editing. It seems likely that the iPhone 14 will get this slightly better version of the A15 to give it an edge over the standard iPhone 13.
Earlier this year, Gurman said that "beyond trying to make the Pro stand out," ongoing chip shortages may have contributed to Apple's decision to limit its upcoming chip to the iPhone 14 Pro models.