Apple may be preparing to introduce AI in iOS 18, but can the next iPhone keep up?
As the smartphone world turns to AI and the powerful hardware and software combinations required, Apple has yet to show its hand on the software side of artificial intelligence. The latest reports from the team at Taiwan Economic Daily highlight TSMC’s plans for 2nm chipsets, with Apple in pole position to launch a new iPhone with this next generation of silicon.
Chips built on the 2nm will offer better permanence with more efficient use of power, just as 3nm picked up similar benefits over the 5nm process.
Over the next few years, smartphone manufacturers will be delivering more AI features to consumers. The biggest signal is Samsung, with Galaxy AI dominating the recent Galaxy Unpacked launch event for the S24 family of smartphones. AI has been highlighted not just by other Android-based manufacturers but by chip manufacturers such as Qualcomm and Mediatek.
We’ve yet to see how Apple will specifically address AI in the iPhone—the upcoming launch of iOS 18 at June’s Worldwide Developer Conference will be a key moment in Apple’s AI story. With Qualcomm and its competitors all building support for AI into the hardware, unless Apple completely opts out of using AI in its mobile platforms, it will have to follow with the upcoming A18 and A19 Apple Silicom chipsets.
With the A19 chipset set for a 2025 debut, that sits nicely in the pocket for a switch to the 2nm process. And that means there will be a significant increase in the capability of the A19, and therefore the iPhone 17 Pro, over the 3nm-based A18 and the iPhone 16 Pro.
Similar to the older iPhone “S” handsets that kept pace with the industry specifications but did not push the envelope in any way, the iPhone 16 Pro looks like a transitionary handset that will do little more than iterate on the existing hardware.
Any major changes will need to be in software, meaning AI will have to make up the difference.
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