iPhone 15 Pro's Next-Gen Chip Capabilities Expected to Spark Upgrade Demand Among Current iPhone Owners

Apple's upcoming iPhone 15 Pro models may spark a "replacement demand" among owners of older iPhones, due to the significant improvements enabled by the A17 processor, Apple's first iPhone chip based on TSMC's first-generation 3-nanometer process.

iPhone 15 Pro Mock Feature Buttonless
That's according to suppliers involved in Apple's iPhone supply chain. Quoting from the latest DigiTimes industry report:

TSMC's N3E (3nm enhanced) technology will enable significant specification upgrades in the upcoming iPhone series, the sources said. Suppliers involved in the iPhone supply chain anticipate replacement demand for the 2023 models.

As we've been hearing lately, Apple is widely expected to adopt TSMC's 3nm technology this year for the A17 Bionic chip that is likely to power the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models.

The first-gen 3nm process (also known as N3) is said to deliver a 35% power efficiency improvement over TSMC's 5nm-based N4 fabrication process, which was used to make the A16 Bionic chip for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. The N3 technology will also offer significantly improved performance compared to current chips manufactured on 5nm.

Reports suggest Apple has procured 100% of the initial orders for the first-gen 3nm technology, despite the higher costs involved in manufacturing, suggesting rival smartphone vendors like Samsung are willing to wait until prices come down while they weather what is expected to be a bleak 2023 for the Android market amid global economic turbulence.

Apple's faster A17 chips will be limited to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, while the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will adopt the A16 chip that was first used in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. TSMC is poised to move N3E – an enhanced version of N3 – to commercial production in the second half of this year, and Apple is again expected to be the first customer to adopt the process.

The 2023 iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to feature USB-C instead of Lightning, solid-state volume and power buttons, new periscope camera technology, a tweaked design, and more. For all the details, check out our dedicated iPhone 15 Pro roundup.

Related Roundup: iPhone 15 Pro

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Top Rated Comments

WiiDSmoker Avatar
18 months ago
Nobody [gross majority] is thinking their phone is slow anymore to trigger a mass upgrade.
Score: 105 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aue123 Avatar
18 months ago
I don't agree with this sparking "replacement demand" the chip could be 400x faster but iOS still lacks legitimate multitasking functionality. the system doesn't even allow background tasks besides music and maps. I could see maybe gaining another 5 hours of screen time would potentially incentive people to upgrade. definitely not the speed of the chip.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
UltimateSyn Avatar
18 months ago
I don’t think anyone has been dissatisfied with their iPhone’s power and speed in ~5 years.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bollman Avatar
18 months ago
Can't say I ever felt the need for more power in my iPhone 13 and the battery last well over a day even with what I consider heavy use which is good enough and then some.
It would need be on a totally new level for me to even consider replacing my iPhone 13. 35% is not going to convince me to replace my phone. Nice to have, sure, but not an argument to replace a fully working phone that does what I need it to do with ease.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MJaP Avatar
18 months ago
I don't think I've done anything on my iPhone where I thought "this phone just isn't powerful enough for me".
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
phillytim Avatar
18 months ago
I mean, every iPhone yearly release inherently sparks new iPhone demand - the article headline really is meaningless. :rolleyes:

_Every_year_ brings greater efficiency. ?

I highly doubt mass consumers will lose even more sleep at night once they hear it will have 3nm technology. :rolleyes:

Once Apple does something MEANINGFUL, such as solid-state batteries for extended battery life - THAT will truly spark demand. ?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)