Apple’s 2018 iPhones are about a year away, but a new report indicates that future iPhone 8 and iPhone X successors will come with a brand new power management system that will qualify as the “most advanced in the industry.”
That means Apple is working on a new component that won’t be available on Android for some time to come. And yes, that means one more Apple supplier will take a severe financial hit as a result.
Apple is designing its own power chips, Nikkei has learned, which should be manufactured by TSMC, Apple’s trusted silicon supplier.
The power management chip, which controls the iPhone’s charging, battery management, and energy consumption, is a critical but boring component. It’s hardly a feature that ever gets mentioned. But Nikkei says the new in-house chip “would be the most advanced in the industry, according to the sources, and could have processing capabilities that allow it to better monitor and control power consumption among various components.”
It’s hardly a surprise that Apple is working on customizing one other chip that ships inside iPhones and iPads. And given that there’s no room left inside the iPhone to pack an even bigger battery, it’s understandable why Apple would want to create a chip that improves battery life by optimizing energy consumption. Combined with battery and wireless charging advancements, the chip may also help Apple further improve charging times for both wired and wireless charging options.
Nikkei’s sources aren’t sure of whether these chips will be ready for the next generation of iPhones or not. “Based on Apple’s current plan, they are set to replace partially, or around half of its power management chips to go into iPhones by itself starting next year,” said one source. Another person claimed the chips will be ready in 2019 only.
Currently, Dialog Semiconductor is in charge of manufacturing the power management chips inside the iPhone. Apple accounted for 74% of Dialog’s revenue last year, and it’s likely the UK-based firm will take a serious financial hit as Apple moves to in-house power management processors.
Earlier this year, news broke out that Apple is developing its own graphics chips, with Imagination Technologies stock crashing immediately upon the revelation. The company sold itself to a private equity investment fund since then.