iPhone 14 Pro Faced 'Unprecedented' Setback Leading to Removal of New Graphics Processor

Apple planned a major generational update for the iPhone 14 Pro's graphics capabilities, but was forced to scrap plans for the new GPU late in development after "unprecedented" missteps were discovered, according to The Information.

A16 iPhone 14 Pro
In a paywalled report, The Information claimed that Apple engineers were "too ambitious" in adding new features to the graphics processor designed for the ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro, including features like ray tracing – a lighting technique to achieve a further level of realism in games. This meant that ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro prototype were found to draw much more power than expected, impacting the device's battery life and thermal management.

According to several individuals that claim to possess first-hand knowledge of the incident speaking to The Information, Apple discovered the flaw in the ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro's GPU late in the device's development cycle, meaning that it had to hastily pivot to revert largely to the GPU from the A15 Bionic chip from the previous year's iPhone 13 lineup.

The incident is reportedly unprecedented in Apple's chip design history and is responsible for why the ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro shows only small improvements in graphics performance compared to the leaps made by previous iPhone generations. The error resulted in Apple restructuring its graphics processor team and moving some managers away from the project, including the exit of key figures that apparently contributed to Apple's emergence as a chip design leader.

The report goes on to reveal how Apple's chip design team has been forced to contend with a loss of talent in recent years, with the company having lost dozens of key people to various silicon design companies since 2019, as well as interpersonal feuds and lawsuits with chip startups.

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Top Rated Comments

msackey Avatar
20 months ago
The framing of the issue as "setback" and failure is so sensationalising, not making it clear that part of research and development HAS to involve experimentation (DUH!) and various trials and errors. I wouldn't necessarily call it a "setback" which is too sensational and tries to capture the audience's mind in a particular way. Boo!

Anyone who has done any serious research and development will recognize that testing, development, and various failed approaches is part and parcel of the work.
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gpat Avatar
20 months ago
iPhone 15 Ultra is going to be amazing.
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
20 months ago

I returned my iPhone 14 Pro. There was literally no noticeable difference between it and the 13 pro.
Well, Dynamic Island is a game changer for an iPhone tho. A 48MP camera is great too and A16 Chip is blazing fast.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JCCL Avatar
20 months ago
Can’t wait to play candy crush with real time reflections!
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Return Zero Avatar
20 months ago
This sounds like the development cycle for everything I’ve ever worked on… “Hey here’s a great idea, it’s going to be amazing, the team worked really hard to complete the design, it’s ready for production, oh shoot we just got some numbers in and it’s going to be too expensive/inefficient/risky, scrap that, just go back to something simple and we’ll figure that part out next time.”
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Premium1 Avatar
20 months ago
"Setback" Lol no they just wanted to save it for the 15 to use as a selling point. Can't put too many features in the iphone at once, gotta keep the upgrades coming...
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)