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iPhone 16 with Vanilla A18 SoC May Not Have On-Device AI Features

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Apple has always debuted a new chipset with each new iPhone generation. Essentially, the Pro models run on the latest silicon while the standard models run on the previous generation chip. A new report suggests Apple's iPhone chipset choice this year might strip the on-device AI features from the iPhone 16, leaving these as an exclusive on the Pro.

Based on the available information surrounding the iPhone 16, the non-Pro models will be powered by Apple A18 SoC while the Pro duo will be equipped with A18 Pro. Now, Haitong's analyst and reliable Apple leaker Jeff Pu has shed more light about the specifications of these chips in a new investor note.

How Apple's A18 Pro will be different from the A17 Pro

According to Pu, the A18 Pro will bring a larger die size from the A17 Pro of the iPhone 15 Pro (review). In other words, Apple will be able to fit more transistors within. Having more transistors in a die usually offers faster performance. The gains should be applicable to the processor, graphics, and other integrated units within the chip.

Apple A17 Pro chipset
Apple's A17 Pro chipset for the iPhone 15 Pro brings faster and more powerful CPU and GPU. / © Apple

However, Pu highlighted the larger die area will accommodate the upgraded neural processing units (NPU) to support the upcoming on-device AI capabilities that will be enabled in the new iPhones. Hence, it explained that the A18 Pro will not see a GPU upgrade and will retain the hexa-core graphics layout of the A17 Pro.

No on-device AI for the iPhone 16 (Plus)?

Based on the provided details, Pu also indicated that only the A18 Pro will gain from having on-device AI features and the plain A18 that should power the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will miss out on these additions. Even without the necessary component, the iPhone manufacturer could still bring AI features via the cloud, albeit it will be limited compared to an on-device solution.

Based on our knowledge so far, Apple was rumored to be in talks with Google to enable AI via the latter's Gemini Nano LLM (large language model). At the moment, the model is utilized by the Pixel 8 and Samsung's Galaxy S24 series, allowing it to run processes both on the chip level and the cloud.

Beyond AI, the iPhone 16 range is set to receive new features with iOS 18, including RCS support and expanded home screen customizations, among others. Lastly, Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 16 in September.

Will it be a deal-breaker if Apple reserves its on-device AI features for the Pro models only? Share your thoughts with us.

Via: 9to5Mac

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Jade Bryan

Jade Bryan
Junior Editor

I still remember how amazed I was when I first got hold of the Nokia 3210 back when I was a kid, and it was during that time I developed my love for technology, particularly for mobile phones. I started sharing my knowledge through writing in different blogs and forums back in Nokia Nseries era. I even make videos before where I put different phones side-by-side. Today, I'm still an avid enthusiast of smartphones, but my interests have evolved into smart devices and electric vehicles.

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  • APKHiHe 1
    APKHiHe 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    Impressed with the detail and structure of the article. Thank you for this knowledge!

  • APKHiHe 1
    APKHiHe 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    Thank you for the high-quality and interesting article. It helps me understand the topic better.