Apple Boosts A18 Chip Orders in Anticipation of High iPhone 16 Demand

Apple is said to have upped its order of next-generation chips from TSMC to between 90 million and 100 million units, following heightened demand expectations for its iPhone 16 series.

iPhone 16 Pro Front Update Blue
Last year's initial chip order volume for the iPhone 15 series launch is believed to have been in the region of 80-90 million units, suggesting Apple is anticipating higher demand for its 2024 devices in the region of 10 million units, according to Taiwanese outlet CTEE.

The arrival of Apple Intelligence in iOS 18 is expected to boost initial sales of the devices. One of the reasons is that Apple Intelligence requires at least an iPhone 15 Pro to run, which means owners of last year's iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will miss out on Apple's new AI features unless they upgrade to an iPhone 15 Pro or plump for one of the iPhone 16 models.

Last year, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus were equipped with the A16 Bionic chip – the same chip that was in the iPhone 14 Pro models – whereas the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max featured an A17 Pro chip manufactured using TSMC's second-generation 3nm process, also known as "N3E." N3E is less expensive and has improved yield compared to the previous-generation N3B, according to TSMC.

This year, all four models in the iPhone 16 lineup are expected to use A18-branded chips manufactured using the N3E process. Despite switching to N3E, the A18 chip in the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus is likely to adopt the A17 Pro design that was used in the iPhone 15 Pro models. Meanwhile, the iPhone 16 Pro and ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ Max will likely use a chip branded as an "A18 Pro," which could feature an upgraded Neural Engine with more cores enabling improved AI/machine learning performance.

The standard iPhone 16 models could also be upgraded with 8GB of RAM, up from 6GB in the iPhone 15 models. That would see all four iPhone 16 models offering 8GB of RAM, which Apple has suggested is a minimum requirement for running large-language models (the algorithms that power AI) locally on device, rather than in the cloud.

Based on previous years, Apple is expected to release the iPhone 16 series in the fall, around mid-September. For more information, be sure to check our dedicated iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro roundups.

Related Roundups: iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro

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Top Rated Comments

SmugMaverick Avatar
2 weeks ago
Remember that "high" Vision Pro demand as well ?

Nice try with the hype Apple but we're all bored of the lazy designs and extra buttons now.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cervisia Avatar
2 weeks ago
If they expect higher demand on AI alone, they're gonna be disappointed.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Account25476 Avatar
2 weeks ago
Spot the difference game

iPhone lineup
iPhone 6s (2015): 2GB
Iphone 7 (2016): 2GB
iPhone 8 (2017): 2GB
iPhone X (2018): 3GB
iPhone 11 (2019): 4GB
iPhone 12 (2020): 4GB
iPhone 13 (2021): 4GB
iPhone 14 (2022): 6GB
iPhone 15 (2023): 6GB
iPhone 16 (2024): 8GB

iPad lineup

iPad 5th gen (2017): 2GB

iPad 6th gen (2018): 2GB
iPad 7th gen (2019): 3GB
iPad 8th gen (2020): 3GB
iPad 9th gen (2021): 3GB
iPad 10th gen (2024): 4GB

MacBook "Pro" lineup
MacBook Pro (2015 - now): 8GB
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SmugMaverick Avatar
2 weeks ago

Spot the difference from 2015 to now

iPhone lineup
iPhone 6s: 2GB
Iphone 7: 2GB
iPhone 8: 2GB
iPhone X: 3GB
iPhone 11: 4GB
iPhone 12: 4GB
iPhone 13: 4GB
iPhone 14: 6GB
iPhone 15: 6GB
iPhone 16: 8GB

MacBook "Pro" lineup
MacBook Pro (2015 - now): 8GB
When you see it written out, you realise just how disgraceful it really is.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macfacts Avatar
2 weeks ago
I'm guessing Siri made this prediction.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wikiverse Avatar
2 weeks ago

You mean the Vision Pro that more than half of fortune 100 companies use?
Sounds like Apple sold 50 Vision Pro units to the IT heads of large companies to 'try it out'.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)