The chips that will power Apple’s next flagship smartphone have entered production, according to a new report.
With every major iPhone release comes a new generation of processors designed by Apple and manufactured in Asia. This year, the likelihood is that Apple’s new chip will be called ‘A11’, and it’s expected to feature in the iPhone 7S – or the iPhone 8, perhaps?
The good news is that production for this chip is tipped to have begun already, casting doubt on rumours of component delays in Apple’s supply chain. Regular Apple supplier TSMC is said to be chief manufacturer of the A11 chip, according to an article from industry news site Digitimes. Naturally we can’t verify this however, and it’s worth noting that Digitimes has a mixed track record on mobile leaks.
According to the article, there were some early issues in the manufacturing process, but these “have already been solved”, according to the anonymous sources.
Apple’s new chip is expected to be built on a highly efficient 10nm manufacturing process. That means the transistors – the components that allow for computing – can be packed very densely, allowing for better power efficiency or faster processing than the 16nm process used for the iPhone 7’s A10 chip.
It seems entirely likely that this will be the case. After all, many of this year’s flagship Android phones will run on US chipmaker Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, which is a 10nm chipset. We’ve already seen the chip debut on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Sony Xperia XZ Premium, and it’s likely to feature on the HTC U and OnePlus 5 too.
If Apple wants to stay competitive with its Android rivals, the A11 should definitely utilise a more efficient manufacturing process.
Apple is expected to debut its next flagship smartphone later this year, likely around September time. The working theory is that we’ll see two fairly conventional devices under the iPhone 7S branding, as well as a special edition iPhone 8 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Apple smartphones. This special edition iPhone 8 is tipped to feature an OLED display and an all-screen front, similar to what we’ve seen from the Galaxy S8.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to say exactly what Apple is planning until we hear an official announcement. As such, we recommend taking all pre-launch leaks with due caution.
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What would you like to see from Apple’s next smartphone? Let us know in the comments.