Apple’s longtime manufacturing partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is reportedly dealing with some issues as it attempts to move over to a 3nm manufacturing process. So while some rumors were pointing to the iPhone 14 boasting chips manufactured with a 3nm process, it now seems that the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro Max will feature a 5nm chip. Could this even affect the iPhone 14 release date?
How this impacts the iPhone 14 release date
This development is worth highlighting because a 3nm process would allow Apple to release more powerful devices that consume less power. Indeed, more power-efficient products have been a hallmark of Apple devices for years at this point.
The struggles facing TSMC were first brought to light by The Information this week:
The upshot of TSMC’s struggles is that the iPhone’s processor will be stuck on the same chip manufacturing process for three consecutive years, including next year, for the first time in its history, according to an analysis by The Information of Apple’s previous chips. That could in turn cause some customers to put off upgrading their devices for another year and give Apple’s competitors a bit more time to catch up.
While this could certainly give rival devices more time to play catch-up, I can’t imagine it having a discernible impact on users upgrading. The reality is that most iPhone consumers pay no mind to the technical details of new Apple processors. At the end of the day, most iPhone upgraders are content in knowing that their new device will be blazing fast with impressive battery life. So even if The Information’s report proves accurate, there’s every reason to believe that the iPhone 14’s A16 processor will be a nice upgrade compared to the A15.
The full report, which is well worth a read, also delves into the close working relationship Apple and TSMC have. Of particular interest is the deep level of collaboration between company engineers to take A-x performance to the next level.
Rumored iPhone 14 Pro Max Specs
The iPhone 14 processor aside, some other iPhone 14 rumors have emerged over the past few weeks. Most notably, rumor has it that the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro Max will eliminate the notch entirely. In its place will be a punch-hole camera for selfies. Apple will reportedly place Face ID sensors underneath the display. The result will be an iPhone with a completely brand new look and feel.
Another notable design involves the removal of the camera bump. The camera bump on the rear of the iPhone isn’t that big of a deal. Still, if Apple can make the rear of the device flush, it would be a welcome change.
We’ve also seen reports that the volume buttons on the iPhone 14 will be different. Specifically, the volume buttons will be circular.
Renders of what the iPhone 14 Pro Max may look like can be seen below:
Lastly, we can expect to see a huge progression of camera performance on the iPhone 14. Reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo a few months back said that Apple’s next-gen iPhone will “elevate mobile phone camera photography to a new level” thanks to a 48-megapixel sensor on the back.