Apple this year will release up to four new iPhones, three of which are expected to arrive this fall, at Apple’s usual September event. Reports say Apple is bringing to market three iPhone X successors later this year, including two devices with OLED screens and one handset with an LCD panel. The fourth, of course, is the rumored iPhone SE second generation.

All three iPhones are expected to offer users the same type of performance, therefore almost the same set of specs. And Apple’s 2018 iPhones will have no rival when it comes to one key feature.

The A12 chip that will power these devices is already in mass production, Bloomberg has learned. TSMC, just like last year, is the sole manufacturer of the processor, which is hardly surprising. But the A12 will also be the first 7nm chip to be used in a smartphone, this year, as Apple’s still leading the market when it comes to processor development.

The processor should be even faster and more energy efficient than the A11 Bionic found inside the iPhone X and iPhone 8.

That chip is the world’s fastest mobile chip on paper, and no rival comes close. On the other hand, in real-life speed tests, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 that powers iPhone rivals including the Galaxy S9 and OnePlus 6, outperformed the iPhone.

Qualcomm and Samsung are both expected to come up with their own 7nm designs in response to Apple’s A12 chip. Samsung confirmed earlier this week that 7nm chips are coming next year.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855, due next year, will surely power an array of Android flagships. Samsung meanwhile is expected to introduce new Android handsets in early 2019, including the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy X foldable phone, but it’s still unclear whether they’ll pack 7nm or 10nm chips.

Apple, meanwhile, will reveal more details about the 2018 iPhones only in September. Next up is Apple’s early June WWDC conference, which will bring us software news and, perhaps, the brand new iPhone SE.

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