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iPhone 16 identifiers suggest all models will get an ‘A18’ chip

According to a leak sent to MacRumors, the iPhone identifiers (allegedly found on Apple’s backend, though no details are given) suggests that this year’s iPhone 16 models will all run an A18 chip.

It is typical for iPhone identifiers to have the format “iPhone xx,x” where the numbers before the comma represent the A-series processor and the number after the comma is each different model. For example, “iPhone 15‌,5” is an iPhone 15 Plus, “iPhone 15, 4” is a regular iPhone 15, and “iPhone 16,1” is the iPhone 15 Pro. In iPhone identifiers, 14 is for phones with an A15, 15 is for phones with an A16, and 16 is for phones with an A17.

The discovered identifiers are:

  • iPhone17,1
  • iPhone17,2
  • iPhone17,3
  • iPhone17,4
  • iPhone17,5

That’s five iPhone models with a “17” identifier, suggesting they’ll all use an A18 chip. It’s possible all five are due for release this year—iPhone 16, 16 Plus, 16 Pro, and 16 Pro Max, plus some sort of “iPhone Ultra” higher-end device. We think it’s more likely that one of them represents an iPhone SE set to debut next spring.

Just because they all carry the name A18 and the same identifier family does not mean the chips will be identical, however. It’s possible that Apple will disable GPU or CPU cores in lower-end models to increase yields and differentiate between them. There is precedent for this in the iPhone 13 lineup.

The iPhone 13 (identifier: iPhone 14,5), iPhone 13 Pro (iPhone 14,2), and iPhone SE 2022 (iPhone 14,6) all use an A15 Bionic, but the Pro models have one additional GPU core enabled and two additional gigabytes of RAM (6 vs. 4). We are likely to see a similar segmentation with this generation of iPhones.

This latest leak is in line with previous rumors that suggests we’ll see “A18” across the board this year, with some distinction between A18 and A18 Pro. The new chips are necessary in part to run the Apple Intelligence models which require a powerful Neural Engine and lots of RAM—the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are the only iPhones in the current lineup that will be compatible with the new Apple Intelligence features.